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the Royal 



Royal Musical 
Musical ... 








FOUNDED MAY 29, 1874. 

Twentieth Session, 1893-94. 


AUG 'IS 1S66 

Ml Si' 


" Vsapi AfiD Wagher." By Edward W. Navlor, 
M.A., Mus. Ijac, Cantab 

■■The Art of Clavier 

Plavinc, Past an 

D Present." 

By William H. Ci 


A New Metkonome. 

" By J. Treadi 

VAY Hanson, 

F.R.I.B.A 23 

■' Fbbkth Pnoiri 


Century." By Mi 

IS. Jane M. E. B 

" Notes on Indian Mi 

jsic." By Captain C. R. Day, 

F.S.A., Oxfoidshire Light Infantry . , -45 

"A Suggested System qF Chromatic Habmonv." 



"Music in Our Public Schools." By Louis 


Parker, A.R.A.M., formerly Director of the Mi 

" Notes on the Trumpet Scale." By D. ]. Blaiklev 115 

"Samuel Wesley: His Life, Times, and iNfLUBKCE 

ON Music." By James Htggs, Mus. Bac, Qxon. . laj 


Passed at Five Special General Meetings of the Members, held 
at 37, Hurley Street, W., on February 7 and April 3, 1S76, 
on ^muwy 6, 1879, oti December fi, 1886, and on yune 

This Association is called the " MtrstcAi. Association" and 
is formed for the investigation and discussion of subjects con- 
nected with the Art, Science, and History of Music ; and is 
intended to be similar in its organisation to existing Learned 

It is not intended tliat the Association shall give concerts, 
or undertake anj publications other than those of their own 
proceedings, or the Papers read at their Meetings. 


The Association shall- consist erf luactical and theoretical 
musicians, as well as those whose researches have been 
directed to the science of acoustics, the history of the art, or 
other kindred suhjects. 

Any person desirous of being admitted into the Association 
must i>e proposed by two members. Foreigners resident 
abroad and distinguished in the Art, Science, or Literature Of 
Music may be nominated by the Council for election as 
Honorary Members of the Association. 

Elections will take place by ballot of the members present 
at any of the ordinary meetings, and one adverse vote in four 
shall exclude. 

No newly elected member shall be entitled to attend the 
ineetingH until the annual subscription be paid. 


The annual subscription to the Association is one guinea, 
which shall become due on the isl of November in each year. 

Any member "lay, upon or at any lime' after election, 
hccome a life member of the Association by payment of a 
composition of ;^io los. in lieu of future annual suhsciiptionB, 
but in addition to any annual subscription previously paid or 
due from such member. Such sums shall from time to time 
be invested in legal security in the names of Trustees, to be 
appointed by the Council. 

Any member intending to resign his membership ahall 
signi^ his wish by notice in writing to the Hon. Sec. on or 
b^re the 31st of October, otherwiee he shall be liable for his 
subscription for the ensuing year. 


An ordinary meeting shall be held on the second Tuesday 
in every month, from November to June inclusive, at 8 p.m., 
when, after the despatch of ordinary business. Papers will 
be read and discussed, the reading to commence not before 
8. IS 

An annual general meeting of members onlj' shall be held 
at 8 P.M. on the last Tuesday in October, to receive and 
deliberate on the Report of the Council, and to elect the 
Council and officers for the ensuing year. 

Special general meetings may be summoned whenever the 
Council may consider it necessaiy ; and they shall be at all 
limes bound to do SO on receiving a requisition in writing 
from five members, specifying the nature of the business to be 
transacted. At least one week's notice of each special 
meeting shall be given 1^ circular to every member, aitd ten 
members present at any general meeting shall constitute 
a quorum. 

Every member shall have the privilege of introdncing one 
visitor at the ordinary meetings, on writing the natne in a 
book provided for that purpose, or sending a written order. 


Papers proposed 10 be read at the meetings may treat of 
any subject connected with the Art, Science, or History of 
Music, Acoustics, and other kindred subjects. 

Papers will be received from or through any member of the 

Experiments and performances may be introduced, when 
limited to the illustration of the Paper reed. 

All communications read will become thenceforth the pro- 
perty of the Association (unless there shall have been some 
previous arrangements to the contrary), and the Council may 
publish the same in any way and at any time they may think 


A Report of the Proceedings of the Association, including 
the Papers read or abstracts <^ the same, and abstracts of the 
Discnssions, shall be printed and distributed to the members 
as soon as possible after the end of each session. 

This Report will be arranged and edited by the Honorary 
Secretary, under the direction of the Council. 

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The management of the affairs of the Association shall be 
vested in a Council, to be elected by ballot at the general 
meeting of the members on the last Monday in October. 

The Council shall consist of a President, Vice-Presidents, 
and ten ordinary members of the Association, 

The Honorary Secretary of the Association shall be ex officio 
an ordinary member of Council. 

The President, Vice-Presidents, Auditors, and five ordinary 
members of the Council shall retire every year, but shall ba 
eligible for re-election. 

At the annual general meeting in October, the Council shall 
present a balloting list, showing the names of the persons 
whom they propose for the offices of President, Vice-Pre- 
sidents, and ordinary members of Council for the ensuing 
jiear. A copy of this Hat shall be §^ven to each member 

In voting, each member may erase any name or names 
from the biUloting list, and may substitute the name or names 
of any other person or persons whom he considers eli^^ble for 
each respective ofRce ; bat the number of names on the list, 
after such erasure or substitution, must not exceed the number 
to be elected to the respective offices as above enumerated. 
Those lists which do not accord with these directions shall 
be rejected. 

The Chairman of the meeting shall cause the balloting 
papers to be collected, and after they have been examined by 
himself and two scrutineers, to be appointed by the members, 
he shall report to the meeting the result of such examiniiiion, 
and shail then destroy the balloting papers. Auditors shall 
be appointed at the annual general meeting by the members, 
and the statement of accounts shall be sent by the Treasurer 
to the Auditors, and be remitted by them to the Secretary in 
time to enable the Council to judge of the prospects of the 
Association, and to prepare their report in accordance 

The Council and officers shall meet as often as the business 
of the Association may require, and at every meeting three 
members of Coimcil shall constitute a quorum. 


No rules and regulations can be enacted, altered, or re- 
scinded, except at a special meeting of members summoned 
for the express purpose, the summona stating distinctly and 
fully the matter to be brought under considoration. 

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FOUNDED MAY 29, 1874. 


Sir John Siainhb, M A., Mos. Doc , Omn, Ptof Mns Univ. Oion. 
Adamb, William GKYi.[,a, Esq., M..\., r.R.S., Proftssoi King's Collegs. 

Brioqb, J.'f.*, E'3q.,'MuB.'DQt.',' Onon.^ OrganiBl of WeBlmEniler Abbey, 

Gresham Prof, of Music. 
Cobb, Oesaid 7., £■□., M.A., Fell. Trin. Coll., Camb. 
CuHHiBoa, W. H., Eh., P.S.A., Han. R.A.M. 
Davbhfort, p., Esq.. Hon. R.A.M. 
Garcia, Manuel. Eui., M.D. (Hon.) 
GLADaTONE, F. E., Esq., Mui. Doc., Cantab., Hon. R.A.M. 


Gbove, Sir Gedhqe, D.C.L., LL.D., Director of the Royal CoUegsOf MU^C. 

PARavit^.HuBEHT'fe.,Eai5..Mu5, Doc.,biion.etCaniab.,ClioragiiaUniw,OMn. 

Pole, Williau, Esq., F.R.S, L. and £., Mub. Doc.. Oion. 

Pbout, E., EBq., B.A, (London). 

Ratlbioh, Ft, Hon. Loud, M A. 

SuLUVAH, Sir Arthur. Mu9. Doc, Oxaa. et Cinlab. 

Bakhh, J. Pescv, Esq. {Sicrilary)' 

Barrv, c! a., Esq.r^.A. 
Foster. Mylrs B., Esq., A.K.A.M. 
Macpahhbn, Walter, Esq. 
Pearce, Chab. W., Esq., Mu>. Doc., Cantab. 
A. H. D., Eaq., M.A. 
«y, Biq., AJULH. 
, MiHBV, Bag. 

SoumaATB, Thouai Lka, Eiq. 
ViNtiBHT, Cbablis, Eiq., Mdh. Doc., Oion. 


Otto Goldsckmidt, Eiq, 
H. C. BiUllBTBR, Eiq., g, Slemhold Avenue, Streatbaiil HOI, a.W. 

hon. auditors. 
David Jaubs Blaikuev, Bw]. 
Williau S. Collakd, Biq. 
Arthur T. CutdmniB, Eaq. 

J. PiRcv Bak>b, EBq.iWnianlejr HotiM, Wdlington Road, Old Chiriton. 


Gemot, UonBienr F. A. (Biaawb). 
Hetmholtz, Prolbatoc von (Bcrlla). 
Sptn*, Herr P. (BBdin). 


Alennder, Lesley, Esq. 

Beaumont, Capialn Ala. Spink. 

BlliUsy, David James. E(q. {Han. AuHUyi), 

Bonmquet, R. H. M., Esq.. M.A.. F.rXS., F.C.8., Felloir of 81. Joha's 

College, O-on. ( Vzce.P«Jid<«(}- 
Habent, Rev. W. J.. B.A. Lond. (New Zealand). 
Bpottinroode, W. Hugh, Esq. 


Coiwen, J. 8., E>q., R.A.H. 

F.W„Biq.,Hon. B,A.«. 

Lsq. (LiverpMl). 
i. Phillis (Cambridge). 

Beale, Frederick H., Esq. 
Beleham, Oliver D., Bm{. 

Etq., MuB. Doc, 

t, O. J 

Bainger, Ouar, Esq. 
BooKy.C. T., Ew]. 
Bonchiliky, 1, F.. Biq. 
Bowdlet, Colonel C. W. 
Breakspeare, Enstace J., Esq. (Bit- 

Br™^^''j!"^fedli., Esq., Mut Doc., 
Oian., Ocganiil, WesuniRiter 

Browne, Rev. H. E. 
Brownlow, Mrs. I. H. B. 
BucbanBD, UI» Jeaonia. 
Battery, Haracs, Eiq. 

Campbell, F. J„ Eaq., LL.D. 
Cwl, Rev. Henry. 

Caitsr, Miss Margaret,, 

Clarke, Someis, Jun., Esq. 
Cobb, Gerard F., Esq., M.A., Ttin. 

Coll., Ciinb. {Vici-Prniitat.) 
CocUe. O., Esq. 

„ Est, Mm. Doc., 
H., Esq., F.8.A. 


Edgar, Clifford B.. Esq., MuB. Bae., 

London, B.Sc. 
Edwards. Llcyd, Esq. 

Finlayson. Rnthven, Enq. 

Foster, Myles Birket, Esq., A.R.A.M. 

Freake, Louiia, Lady. 

Oadiby, Henry, Ee 

Henry, E^. 


Pniidmt aad Ti 

Olio, Esq. (Vict 

Esq^ LL.M., Trin. Coll., 
Carab., Uns. Doc, CanUb, 
Gray, Hn. Robin. 

" D.C.L. {Virt. 

Grove, Sir Georn, ; 

Harris, Richard, Esq. 
Havergal.A,, Esq., R.N. 
Havergal, Rev. Emeat, M.A. 
Herbert, George. Esq. 
Hicheiia,Thc Rev. F. H. (Canterbury). 
HIbbs, James, Esq., Mus. Bac, Oion. 

mi Artbut, Esq., B.E., M.R.LA, 

m^m, A. ]., Bu.,F.S.A. 
Holmes, Henry, &i. 
Hurdle, H. A„ Esq., A.R.A.M. 

Kno., Brov/niow D 
Lacy, F. St. John, 

Mac&nen, Wallet, E«. 
HcNau^t, W. 0„ Eh., A.R.A.U. 
HiH!. Rev. J. H., M.A.. Mas. Ddc 

Naylor, Edmrd W., Esq., M.A., 

Mug. Bac., CanUb, 
Niecks,I'T.,£iq.,FIoC Uiu.Uiiiv.BdIa. 

Fadd, CO., Esq. (Vta^. 
Pony, C. Hobeit H., En., Mna.TXic., 
Oiton. et Cnlab. (Cics-Prwfd™*.) 

St)u 111 gate, Thoi. Lea, Esq. 

Sulner, Sir John, M,A.. Mna. Doc., 

0<on. (Pnsidcnt a«d Tnalei.) 
Stainer, Rev. WUliam. 
Sianford, C. ViUicn, Ew)., M.A., 

Mbb. Doc., Oxon M CanUb., Piof. 

Hoi. (JnlT., Cunb. 
Sullivan, Sir Anhiu S., Hdi. Qoc., 

Oxon. It Cantab. (Vlu-Pmidnl.y 
Swann, Stretton, Eiq., F.B.C.O. 

TayloT. Franklin, Baq. (WiodgaT). 
Taylor. James. Esq.. Mas. Doc., Oxon. 

(Oxford). ^ 

Tbomas, John, Eh. 
Thornbill, Maioi McCccaeh. 

e O. T., Em. 

Treherae, Ocorge O. T., Eeq. 
'^Tickett, Arthur, Esq., 7.H.C. 

iingtall. John. Esq. 

Oxoa. {Vici.Prisidtnt.) 
Pope, Campbell, Esq.. M.D. 
FOfdiain, Rev. V. W., M.A. 
Prendsrgad, A. H. D., Esq., M.A. 
Prentiee, Rldl^, Etq., A.R.A.M. 
Freuo«l, Miae OUven>, A.R.A,M. 
FroiU, E., Eh., B.A. X.OBd. (Via 

Rayld^, Rieiit HoninuablB Lord, 

U.A., P.R.S. (KH-Pniiitnii.) 
RwDDidi, W. S»n^ Mus. Doc, 

Walker, Fred.. Esq. 
"'-.8on, H.. Esq., Mus. Doc, Cuub. 

iBler, Mrs. C. A., L.R.A.U. 
ch, W.. Esq.. M.A- 

iiam':. C. F, Ahdy, Esq.. M.A., 
Woollsy, MiU (N.S. Wales}. 
Tatman.IIaiiy O., Esq. 

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3TBR in the Chair. 

nmr.iiorniis .'iii': usi:iiii sckskiii. liiu iiuucrs mac nuvc oeen 
read wiU be fouiui to maintain the high standard at which 
the Associ:ition aims, and the Council hereby accord their 
hearty thanks to the various Kenllenien who have contributed 
lhi;ni vi/,.. thir Ki:v. ll,;iiiv t:art. Mr. W. Asiiton ICUis, 
Mr. W. G. McNauRht. Dr. C. W. Pearce. Mr. Ludwig 
Latte, Mr. C. F. Ahdy Williams, Dr. J. C. Uulwick, Dr. 
Charles Vincent, and the Rev, Francis L. Cohen. The 
Annual Volume of Proceedings has been sent as usiul to 
those Members entitled to it. 

The Council have, with much ref;ret, to record the death 
of Mr. ThoiEU.^ "Whiyliain. ,1 iiiLisicL^.i ;uid a Member 

of the As.nLi.^liun I;., iiMin 

It is Willi great sali^faclioii liiat tite Loi.ncil are enabled 
to announce that the Accounts now show a Balance in hand, 
in place of the adverse Balance of the last four years. 
There has been more promptness in payii^ subscriptions, 
while all expenditure has been very caiefnily watched in an 
economical spirit. There is still a considerable sum out- 
standing, however, although the Council hope that the greater 
part will be paid very shortly. 

The following Ordinary Members of Council retire by 
rotation : Messrs. C. A, Barrj', Walter Macfarren, C, W. 
Pearce, Mus, Doc, A. H. D. Prendergast, and T. L, 
Southgate. They offer themselves for re-election, but 
Members may nominate others foi office. 

Papers for the Monthly Meetings are received from or 
through Members, and suggestions as to appropriate subjects 
and capable writers will at all times be considered by the 
Council. Such papers need not always be of a length to 
occupy the whole of one Meeting ; short communications 
upon any points of interest would be gladly accepted and 
would add to the value of the Proceedings. 

The number of those present at the Monthly Meetings 
still continues to increase, and the Council trast that this 
improvement will be maintained. Even if unable to be 
present themselves, Members can always admit Visitors by 
means of a written order, and it is hoped that they ■will 
frequently avail themselves of this privilege. 

Members are further desired to endeavour to obtain new 
Members, and to make the Association and its objects as 
widely known as possible. Prospectuses and Nommation 
Forms may be obtained of the Seci etai y. 

It has been suggested that it would proboblj be a con- 
venience to many Members if it were known that tliey conUi 
pay their Subscriptions through tlieir Hankers at llic 
beginning of the year. A form for this purpose may he 
obtained of the Secretary. 

It is especially desired thai any change of address may be 
promptly notified Co the Secretary, as occasional complaints 
of the non-receipt of books and notices are usually traceable 
to either old oi msufficient addresses. 

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NOVEHBER 14, 1893, 

In the Chair. 


Bv Edward W. Naylor, M.A., Mus. Bac, Cantab. 

The relations subsisting between the works of these two 
great men can only be said tu liave assumed the importance 
of a subject during the last few years. A subject, as such, 
it certainly is now, and One of real importance and interest. 

In comparison with Wagner, Verdi was little but a name — 
Unifying an exploded operatic system — until lately, in the 
mmds of most young musicians. But we have now witnessed 
the phenomenon of an aged composer who took the lead in 
operatic composition, and a European reputation, half-a- 
century ago, assuming for the second time the first place on 
the lyric stage, and cKhibiting snch a change of manner 

{though not of method) as is perhaps unparalleled in the 
[istory of musical art. 

At the same time it would appear that the musical art, if 
not absolutely revolutionized by Wagnerism, has at least 
been afiected very considerably both by Wagner's views and 
works — so much so, as to malte it more than doubtful what 
precise direction musical compodtion is destined to take in 
the immediate future. 

Onder these circumstances it seems appropriate 10 con- 

ani^fh'er^ ifis p"ain' d \ In " f l^'s f I t h a re 
likely to act and re-act in the minds of musicians, and to 
produce changes in several directions, which cannot but be of 
interest to those who pay any attention to the art. 

In considering a subject like this, where it is so hard to 
avoid the controversial side of the question, tt is perhaps 
more aatisfectoiy and more likely to be of value, simply to 
draw attention to the various points in which the two 
composers difier 01 are alike, leaving each person to make 
his own conclusion tor himself- I will, therefore, begin by 

Verdi and Wugner. 

speaking generally of some prominent features which present 
themselves in the works as they stand. 

(i.) First, then, Verdi's work is continuous. In proof of 
this there are plenty of examples, which I will play presently, 
in '■ Emani" (184+), " Rigoletto " (1851), " Traviata " 
(1853), or " Un Ballo in Maschera '' (1859), which only want 
the least little touches of modern harmony to fit them for a 
position in Aida" (1872), ■' Otello" (1887), or "Falslaff" 
(1893). Sometimes no alteration is necessary, and in all 
these cases the difference is trivial, Also it is often possible 
to reverse the process, to take bits of " Falstaff " and reduce 
them to the level of the more viJgar snatches in the early 
operas. Leaving out the set songs, then, Verdi's work is aU 
of a piece except for a certain carelessness and often 
vulgarity in harmonininf^ his earlier work, which no one 
can accnsohim of now. 

(2.) Qiiilc on the other hand, and Secondly, Wagner's 
work is noi continuous in this si;nsc. He hegnii with a strong 
inclination to the forms of the Italian Opera, and was 
eapecially struck by the works of Bellini, whom he at one 
time desired to take as his model, the result of which is 
Eoiind distinctly in "Rienzi," the "Dutchman," "Tann- 
hauser," and, lastly, in " Lohengrin." In these the only 
real difference from the proper Italian School seems to lie in 
the personal difference between Wagner himself as a German 
and Verdi himself as an Italian. 

But no such continuity as is apparent in Verdi's case can 
be traced between Wagner's latest and earliest works. 
Between " Parsifal " and " Lohengrin " (which may tie taken 
as the last of Wagner's " Italian " operas) the difference is 
almost abysmal ; the two are not of the same kind, they can- 
not be compared, they are not in the same plane, they are 
incommensurable. la "Tannhauscr" and "Lohengrin" 
(not to mention the "Dutchman" and "Rienzi") there 
are endless examples of the Italian opera manner — e.g., the 
duet olTannhdiiser and Elisabeth, the septet in Scene iv. (the 
Landgrave and his followers), or the Finale of Act f. in 
" Lohengrin." The Prayer in " Rienzi " is, perhaps, as 
vulgar a tunc, and as vnljjjrly har.^loniEcd as anything Verdi 

■ It would be impossible to alter any part of these operas so 
as to make them one with " Tristan " or the " Ring." 

Now the grand and inclusive cause of the separation 
between the two systems is. Leitmotiv in the Wagnerian 
sense. It accounts for all the others, directly .or indirectly. 
Wagner's discovery of the Leitmotiv as a basii lot musical 
composition removed him from the Italian plane to another 
quite incompatible with it, aiid caused a di&rence in stand* 
point between Wagner and Verdi which makes it for ever 

Verdi and Wagner. 3 

impos^ble to institute any analogy between theii latei 

Even the creat bone of contention betwecin ibe two 
schools- im: cimy-wim m iiii: iisir 01 liic miil'iiil' vuu.:l- -is not 
nnaflecti^'i in cms vi<:u'. 

In "Vuroi-s woriis ui imv V';.ir;i niKi Liiurt ate plenty 
Iv^ oii:lit-slr,-t luivmu tin: music and the 

earlier ivnrjii. uu; von^r iiiir: cunKisi:; ni;iiiiiviji vocai melody; 

But of courst'i ay wo an Know, ir is comparaiivuiy rare to 
find the voice sustaining the actual melody, say in " Tristan " 
or "Parsifal." There are plenty of exceptions — e,g,,Kundry's 
song to Parsifal about his mother (though that is by no 
means free from mere declamation in the vocal part), or 
Isolde's Death Song, or parts of the great duet, {Of course 
the songs in " Meistersinger " don't count, because they 
profess to be soii^s,) 

The term Leitmotiv should be limited strictly to the 
technical sense of "associated melodic -phrase, as used by 
Wagner in " Tristan," the " King," " Meistersinger," and 
■'Parsifal." The associated melody may be found in 
numerous nnexpected instances before that — e^.,ia Mendels- 
sohn's " Elijah," and, of course, in most of Verdi's operas, in 
exactly the same way as in Wagner's early ones. For 
example, in " Ernani," the first subject of the overture is 
used three times afterwards, and the very last phrase in the 
work occurs earlier in the act. Both subjects in the overture 
to "Traviata" are used later on; and at the end of the 
work a subject occurs for the fourth time, and in two of the 
four cases the melody is in the orchestra, the voice speaking 
or declaiming. In " Trovatore " the gipsy's first soag is used 
twice after as an orchestral Leitmotiv, accompanied each 
time by^ vocal declamation. This, as far as it goes, is 
y^agnerian ; however, it is somewhat singular, and of interest 
as lowing how little Verdi was ever inclined to regard 
Leitmotiv as in any sense a bans for composition, that in 
" Aida " and " Otelbi " there is, prfwressivslf , less and less of 
this kind of thing, and in " F^staff " there is, perhaps, least 
of all. Bardolph has an associated melody, duI it is less 

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Verdi and Wagner. 

uaed in that sense than as a figure for development in the 
usual manner ; and any other instances of repetition, such as 
Miitress Quickly's account of her interview with Fatstaff, do 
not come mto Qie question at all. conclusion is that Verdi never had any ten- 
dency to use Leitmotiv in anything approaching a Wag- 
nerian sense. Now in the early opi^ras of Wagner — 
that is, in "Rienzi," the "Dutchman," " Taniihauscr," 
and " Lohengrin "—nothing more can be found of this kind 
than Verdi has to show. " Tannhiiuser " cannot be said 
to have more than one Leitmotiv, the soft melody in G 
in the mi<ldlt; of the overliirt^. which after all only re-appcars 
twici-, ont:e snnf; by Vatui and near the end of the work by 
Taiinhiinscr himself. Thu pilgrims' chorus is not a Leitmotiv 
at all, and it is only in tlie Verdi way that parts of the 
"Venusberg" music can be considered so. In any case 
these melodies appear rarely and are never combined or 
developed in the opera itself. " Lohengrin" shows a more 
decided tendency in respect of the subject of the Prelude, 
and the three subjects which appear all together in the intro- 
duction to Act II., and the melody more particularly 
associated with Loken^in himself. But these are merely 
introduced at the appropriate places, not in the later manner 
at all, and decidedly not as the basis of the musical structure. 
Certainly the Prelude is made from one of them, and the 
Finale of Act I. is mainly dependent on the use of another; 
but this is in a purely musical way, and just as anybody else 
might have done it who had no idea of Leitmotiv as Wagner 
understood it at a later period. 

All this seems to go to show that Wagner cannot be said 
to have had the gern; of the Leitmotiv in his early works, 
any more, at ieasl. than Verdi liad. 

How was it Ihen that Wagner and Verdi, starting at much 
the same point of practice with regard to operatic and 
musical structure, evcntuallj' parted company altogether, 
and in sucli a decided manner? Of course there are many 
influences to be considered, and fundamental differences 
between the two men, all of which must have had some share 
in the business. 

First, as we have said, there was the difference in nation- 
ality. Next, there was the fact that Italy is more naturally 
a smging country, and Germany more decidedly inclined to 
cultivate instruments at the expense of voices. And then 
again, as it appears to me, Wagner was a man of vast 
intelltcttial power and cultivation; Verdi, on the contrary, 
was more especially (what a musician should be) of vast 
artittic power. 

All these connderations lead to one ptunt — viz., method. 
Leaving out the questions of libretto dnd knowledge of 

Vtrdi and Wagn*r. 


stage requirements, and considering merely the music — what 
is apparent in the two cases? 

This, first and foremost! That Verdi has considerably 

A'tji, the reason oi. lui-j limi vciai ii> ijiiiiiiiv iiiiiiQudent 
on the power of iiis inuioav, wnuiiioi oil me oowcr of his 

Again — Wagner was a master of counieipouit : Verdi 
never was given thai wa^. though quite able. 

Furiher — that as continuous music is necessary in opera., 
it is needful to find buii:u wav ui iiruuuciiiL' li tn sucficieut 
quantity. Verdi ii:ia iii.i I'luJiiii; ill KuiDiiii; iiic iniiirr going 
by very slight , neous 
melody, liarnionii^cii ^uiiiuiiiiicLi i:iiui.:r iiiiii:Ju ii not crudely 
in the early wornsi. om. since ■■ Aitia, ■ wiiii tiie irreatest 
charm and delicacv : Wagner, on the other hanu. hits upon 
ft mechaotcai expedient — viz.. Leitmotiv — and then relies 
cntirdy on his huge strength in contrapuntal composition 
to produce vast exuanses oi continuous music, wjucii are so 
charming in music.ii uiieci mat. unu nLSitaios to condemn 
the method when the result has so many satisfactory points. 

Next, what is the difference between the later Wagnerian 
and Verdian opera, considered as dramatic music ? Here 
we come across two main points ; the form of the music, and 
the quality of the book. With regard to the lirst, wc notice 
that Warmer gave up the afifi, at any rate with •• Loliengriii." 
So has Verdi given up the arm. There is a teiKir song in 
" Aida," but of the rest of that work it is dilTicult to pick 
out a number for concert use, as for the most part it con- 
sists of continuous scenas. " Otello " has a drinking-song 
and an"Ave Maria"which don't count; the rest of it is 
equally devoid of" set" pieces. "Falstaff" is nearly hopeless 
for the concert- singer, every part being so entirely depenilent 
on the context as to make it ahnost impossible to make a 
" selection '' of any portion shorter than a ivhole act. 
Indeed, the delicious little scr.ips of duct that are given to 
Fenlon and Anne Page almost provoke one by their i^hortncss 
— no sooner has the hearer settled down to listen to liic 
charming melody, and still more charming harmony, than 
tut interruption occurs, spoiling the tUe'a-ute, and breaking 
the music off. This is indeed an instance of the employ, 
ment.of Mr. Ruskin's "Lamp of Sacrifice" in the cause of 
art. The interruptions are dramatically unavoidable, though 
musically disappointing — and Wagner himself could not 
have done more than Verdi has in this case to show respect 
for the requirements of the drama at the expense of his 

Both tktn have agreed to sacrifice the vanity of botli song 
and singer gn the-dramatic altar. 


Virdi and Wagner. 

But has the result been to further dramatic power in both 
cases P It hardly would appear so, at all events to some, 
who would be only too |;lai! to lliii-.k It. 

" Aida" and "Otello " ctit.iin.y ;.u' dr^iiiiMir in Ihi^ lii^sl 
and fullest sense ; they are impressi^'e, which is the end of 
drama. I mean the combination of plot, action, and music 
succeeds in its object of bringing the stoiy, motives, aad 
consequences home to the spectator. Most of us will agree 
that the plot and action m the eadier operas of Verdi are 
sometimes improbable, not seldom inadequate or foolish, and 
the execution of them (from a literary standpoint) con- 
temptible in many cases. There is a great deal of rubbish in 
the librettos from 1844-1859. But for all that, when a good 
piece of plot does occur it is well placed and made the most 
of by the composer. For instance, the catastrophes in 
" Ernani," " Traviata," " Trovatore " are managed with 
really fine dramatic eifect. There is no need to remark upon 
the great improvement in the libretto of " Ai'da," and the 
corresponding superiority in the dramatic power of the music. 
The situation in the last Act is splendid, where the jealous 
Princess Amneris, having managed her revenge on her rival 
A 'ida rather too well, involves her own favourite Radames in 
an awful doom at the hands of the Egyptian priesthood, 
along with A'ida. The music is as powerful as the story. 
The librettos of " Otello " and "Falslaff" are, perl.aps, a 
higher class of book than we could feel justified in lioping 
for on the lyric stage. It is sufScient to observe tiiat we 
owe the plots to our greatest English dramatist ; and that 
the stage adaptation and the music reflect the greatest credit 
on both Boi'to and Verdi. The characters are Shakespearian, 
which is the same as saying they are human. Therefore 
they are exceedingly interesting, and Verdi has succeeded in 
the fullest sense in providing a musical setting which would 
appear to further the dramatic action and enhance every 
situation. Nowhere can it be said that the music stops the 

I cannot help singling out /qpo'i great soliloquy,"! beheve 
in a cruel God who has made me like to himself," as an 
instajice of the grandest form that music can take in o^era, 
as a real fector in the work. The effect of that piece is all 
that it should be. It stimulates nothing less than a horror 
and hatred of lago and his creed, which can allow of such 
hideous views of men and their relations lo one another. 
There is something that beion;^^ to a truly d.rviiish nature in 
the key effects at the final sentences, " Tiien, after all this 
folly, death comes — and after that — what? — Nothingness— 
And heaven is an (old lie) ancient saw 111" And all this 
excellence in the later Verdi is owing to a first class book on 
the one hand, and to an avoidance of formal arioi on the other. 

Verdi and Wagner. 


Has this dramatic perfection hsea attained by Wagnet 
ill his music-drama ? 1 wish I could think sol 

In the first place, can it be said Wagner's " takiiiE much 
thought " has resulted in a thoroughly satisEactOiylitmtto 

for operatic purposes ? 

It does not appear to me that either the charftcters or the 
incidents are jirojieriy interesting in the same sense as are 
those of '■ Afda," " Otello,"or ■■ FalstaiT" (I leave" Parsifal " 
out of consideration, as tlio subject is both unique in char- 
acter and in its influences over ail Christian natLons). Nor 
are the stories presented so as to produce the dramatic effect 
they are intended to have. Not only arc the speediea of far 
too great a length, but it is by no means impossible for even 
a casual reader to find considerable portions which have 
about as little meaning to the page as the old Italian 
librettos had. There is often very little action as compared 
with the vast quantity of talking which embodies it ; and in 
the actual representation all these evils are aggravated. 
This conclusion is a general one, and is formed from a 
general view. But for an instance we may refer to the vocal 
score of " Tristan." With one slic-ht interruption, Isolde 
raves and curses, in the presence of her maid, through four 
scenes, or fifty pages of close print. So far there iB abso- 
lutely no action whatever. Then TrUta» comes in. Isolde 
curses to his face, and they agree to end their strife by 
mutual suicide. The maid gives them a love philtre instead 
of the poison, and they fall in love after twenty more pa^es 
of the vocal score. Then the ship arrives at the shore, and 
Act I. ends after displaying one incident — viz., Brangane's 
woll-nicant treachery. This one incident lakes eighty pages 
to unfold. In Act 11. Trista,, and holilc have an interview 
of fifty-hvc pages, which takes about three-quarters of an 
hour to perform. Obviously there can be no action during 
this period, and now comes the first " situation " of the 
drama, when Mark comes back in a hurry and catches the 
pair. Then Mark devotes eight pages in slom Umj'o to 
regrets and reproaches, the guilty pair again propose suicide, 
Tristan kisses Isolde as a seal to the compact, Mctot attacks 
him for insulting the King, and Trislan is severely wounded. 
Thus in the first two-thirds of the work— i.e., i8o pages — 
there are two incidents only. In the first Act Tristan and 
Isolde fall in love ; in the second they are found out. 

This is not a question of theorising, but most certainly it 
is one that can be decided by practice, and by that alone. 

Of course, the opinion of an unmusical heater, or one who 
merely goes to hear the " Ring " or " Tristan " for the sake 
of entertainment, is not to be accepted as a test of the 
success or othervnse of Winer's music 'drama ; but it must 
be conceded that a musician of dramatic tastes, who has a 

Verdi and Wagner. 

previous knowledge of these works, should be allowed to put 
some confidence in the impression produced on him by the 
actual performance, especially if his previous acquaintance 
with these operas has led him to a sincere admiration and 
enthusiasm regarding them. 

I do not hesitate Co say that there are many who have had 
their admiration and enthusiasm (the result of an amiable 
prejudice) either entirely or partially estioguisbed durii^die 
past two years, in which the magnificent German opera . 
companies have given ua au opportunity of hearing " Tristan " 
and the " Ring " in London. 

It is perhaps well to insist upon the possitnlity of two 
. definite standpoints in fonninK an opinion about the muuc in 
operas. The music itself, abstra^ed from the ccmditions 
and necessities of a stage performance, and heard in the 
concert-room merely, both gains and loses in certain of its 
qualities. The musician who admires Waj^ncr may do so in 
two distinct ways — viz., he may syinpathi/e tntirely and 
completely with the music of the wonderful duet between 
Siegmund and Sieglinde in " WalkQre," and yet be free to 
hold that that piece of music is out of place lu/nrf of a drama. 
He may experience the greatest pleasure in playing over the 
music of the terribly loi^-winded interview ot Isolde and hex 
lover, and yet properly hold the opinion that the dimensions 
of the scene as a factor in ihe plot make it impossible on the 


There are certain indications which would appear to point 
to a time when Wagner will be in greater request as the 
composer of some of the most cfTcctive con cert- pieces, than 
as the constructor of grcM dramatic operas. As for the 
Ltitmotiv question iu this vit'w, it is hardly of so much 

of producinj^ lovely music which some of us may he inclined 
to enjoy in our own way— vi/,., as uhslract mus^ic, and, that 
being so, it is a comparatively small matter what method of 
composition is employed. But the Leitmotiv as a factor in 
dramatic music taites a different stand aitoGethor. It is so 
easy and obvious to brinu the Leitmotiv syslL'm down to a 
reductio ad absiirdum, Ih-Ai it may perhaps be hardly a fair 
argument to nse against Wagnerism. 

But in any case it must appear to many that any view oi 
music that leans towards any mechanical idtatification of 
melodies and their various combinations and developments, 
with mental and p^chical motives and processes, must 
inevitably tend to foster a materialistic view of an art which 
is as much higher than &cts as the spiritual life is higher 
than the actual 

Verdi and Wagner. 



Tub Ch&iruah. — Before we do anything else we must 
express a heartyvote of thanks to Mr. Naylar for his paper. 
(A vote of thank's was unanimously passed.) 

Mr, CuMMiNOS.— I heard Mr. Naylor make one or two 
retnarlts as to the use by Mendelssohn of the Leitmotiv ia 
" Elijah." But we can go back to his first Oratorio, " St. 
Paul," and find the most beautiful use of the Leitmotiv there. 
It is done in such an exquisite way that few people notice it. 
■Whtre 'Stephen commences his dying speech in the presence 
of the Hi^lt Priest, thete is an exquisite little Symphony iti G 
minor. Saul, you well remember, was Standing by at the time. 
And when Paid is about to go to Jerusalem and takes leave 
of the Elders, with tlx: words " .^nd ye shall See my face no 
more,'' he actually re]>eats the notes of the Symphony witli 
almost identical harmony. It is one of the most heantiful 
and pathetic illustrations I know. As to "Verdi, let mc say 
on his behalf that his progress has been vcr>' distinctly marked 
both in his original and artistic culture as a composer of music. 

early operas and comnient upon their vulgiirity. Tunes by 
themselves without harmony may be of the most common 
kind. If we go to the greatest master of all in instnunental 
music, Beethoven, we SnA melodies of a very commonplace 
character. For instance, there is one in the Choral Fantasia ; 
but the master-hand has worked round it. Really it does not 
strike me as just to take a single part of a musical work and 
to criticise it without looking at the whole. I venture to say 
that I am well acquainted with Wagner's works. For 
myself I do not find a charm in all that he has written, 
neither does his counterpoint always excite my admiration. 
Counterpoint siurely should h^\e this effect, that at least it 
should be- so constructed as not to be a violation of all sound 

Mr. SoUTHGATE. — I agree with some of the conclusions 
Mr. Naylor has arrived at, but I was a little astonished to 
hear his opinion of botli composers with regard to their 
music. Is it quite fair to torture some of the airs from 
Verdi's early operas and show them to us as he would have 
harmonised Iheni in these d.iys ? Surely the early works of 
Verdi were written in the Italian style, in the style of Bellini 
and DoiiiKctti. 

Mr. Banjsteb. — 1 cannot approve of the manner in which 
our lecturer used the term intelligent, or intellectual, and 
artistic. I cannot conceive how a work can be artistic unless 
it be intellectual and intelligent. With regard to what he 
said about the use of a pedal bass, I look upon the abuse of 

this as a modern vice. The niof.t ordinary and common- 
place ideas are thought to be disfjiiised by their being written 
upon a pedal bass. People ate now too fond of this ; pedal 
basses are used chants and hymn tunes without any 
r^ard to taste.- 

Mt. Gilbert Webb. — In ray opinion Verdi was 
nndoubtedly influenced by Wagner. He did not adopt 
Wagner's method of composition, but his principles of 
dramatic action and cohesion between the sentiment and the 
music. Hence the gradiial elimination of dftachable songs 
in " Alda," '■ Otello," and ■' Falslaff," and tlic cutting away 
of everything that hindered or stopped the (Icvsiiiipnient 
of the drama, so conspicuous a characteristic of Verdi's 
last opera. Melody is the factor in music which lasts the 
longest. It is as pleasing to the ear as a well -designed 
piece of architecture is to the eye. Both appeal and give 
pleasure to the sense of form. At the present time if seems 
to me we have two distinct branches of musical art on the 
stage — viz., the latest development of the old school of 
Italian opera, as seen in Verdi's most recent productions, and 
the music-drama founded by Wagner, of wliich " Tristan " is 
a brilliant example. In the former the Italians' innate love 
of beauty exerts a despotic influence ; in the latter the music 
is used to enforce the sentiment of the text and illustrate its 
beauty or hideousness in a realistic manner. If the difference 
of basis between the opera and musicrdrama were more fully 
recognised, the beauties contained in both would he more 
truly appreciated. 

The Chairman. — A great deal might be said against much 
that has been advanced by our lecturer. At first I lliought 
Mr. Naylor was not going to side with either, but lie soon 
showed himself to be a staunch supporter of Verdi. I should 
like to mention that Verdi and Wagner are like Handel and 
Bach in their mode of work and expression of ideas, or 
perhaps like Haydn and Mozart. The latter, however, was 
undoubtedly influenced by Haydn — in fact, it was impossible 
for him to help it. I cannot say that I like ihe burlesques 
of the melodies of Verdi. Witli the aid of his simple 
harmonies Verdi carries you away. 

Mr. Naylor.— As to the use of the Leitmotiv in "St, Paul," 
I am obliged to Mr. Cummings for reminding me of it. I 
am very glad that Mr. Banister thinks "pedals" are a 
modern vice, though they are generally thought to be anything 
but a vice— indeed, I have heard some very decent per- 
formances of the Credo being gone through on one note. 
Mr. Webb thinks that Verdi is influenced by Wagner; 
Dr. Mackenzie defended that point when lecturing on 
" FalstaC" Handel and Bach had no successors. Wagner, 
I hope, will not have one, but I hope Verdi will. 

DIgiiized t)y Google 

DEtPJlBEH 12, IB93. 

H. C. BANISTER, Esq., 
In the Chaik. 

By William H. Cv.i-.UKr.^, F.S.A, 

Clavier playinj; with the Tiii^'crb Laii irnrLely have been 
practised befurc the middle of ihc foiiiLeeiitli century. At 
the period referred to organ keys varied in widlli from three 
inches to .six inches ; the organ-player was iherefore some- 
times very accurately called a striker, his method of playing 
requirinj; either a stroke with closed fingers or a decided 
pressure with the whole of the fingers extended ; we can see 
a pictorial representation of the latter method in the 
■' Theories Musica," by Gairuriiis, published in Milan in 

With this rude playing we need not concern ourselves ; 
if signs were ever required or used, two would have sufficed, 
to distingnish the right and left hand respectively. When, 
however, the fikill of organ makers enabled them to provide 
a keyboard with keys of moderate dimensionB, the separate 
use of various fingers of both hands would naturally suggest 
itself to organ players. 

No older example of fingering can be referred f o than that 
contained in a German book published in Leipzig in 1571, 
written by Animerbach, with the title " Orge! oder Instru- 
ment Tablatur.'' This work contains directions for finger- . 
ing the scale, the sjiecial features of which are: ist, the 
total avoidance of the use of the thiiuib of the right hard ; 
and, the very rare use of the liltle fingers ; 3rd, the special 
sign employed to thumb of the left hand, an O ; 4th, the 
index fingers were marked with the figure i, the others in 

The next German book worthy of notice is that published 
by Daniel Speer in 1697, entitled " Das Musikalische 
Kleeblatt." In this the linger signs are identical with that 
of Ammerbach, published 136 years before. We find, how- 
ever, a more frequent use of the thumb of the left hand; 
bat there is no indication of the employment of the thiunb 

The Art of Clavier Playing, Past and Present. 

of the right hand. Other examples of tliis system of mark- 
ing the finger signs need not be quoted ; suffice it to say that 
such marking is to to be found in books published in various 
years down to 1741, at which dale Maies published his 
" Musiksaal." Both m (his work and in Matthesan's" Kleine - 
Generalbasschule," pubhahed in I7i5, we find the fingering 
modelled on the old plan prescribed by Anmierhach and 
Speer. When we remember that Matlheson xvas a con- 
temporary of Handel and Bach, we are amazed to find in 
his works no signs or indications of the use of the thumb of 
the right hand. Can it be true that the most skilful per- 
formers kept their nioai; oi piaynig a secret, only to be 
imparled viva voce in exceptional cases to favoured pupils ? 
Thia Iradilioii has found acceptance in some quarters. Tliere 
is an amusing passage in the " Syntagma Musicum," by 
Praetorius, published in i6ig. Speaking of fingering, Jie 
says: "Many think it a matter of great importance and 
despise such organists as do not use tiiiB or that particular 
fingering, which, in my opinion, is not worth the taUc ; for 
let a player run up and down with either first, middle, or 
third finger — aye, even nitfa his nose* if that could help faim, 
provided everything else is done clearly, correctly, and 
frracefully, it does not much matter how or in what manner 
it is accomplished." 

It is now time to leave the German signs ba fingering, 
bearing in mind that from 1571 to 1741, nearly 200 years, 
the thumb when used was indicated by an O, the other 
fingers by 1, 2,3, 4. Let us glance for a moment at the 
system in vogue in Italy. Dr. Burney, in his History of 
Music, speaks of a work by Father Lorenzo Penna, called 
*' La prima albori musical!, per il principianti della musica 
figurato," which he praises as " one of the best treatises on 
practical music published in Italy." The work undoubtedly 
held a high reputalinn ; editions were prinled in 1656. 1674, 
1678, 16B4, and a final edition, revised i>y the author, in 
1696. Dr. Burney gives no extracts from the work, but 
, says " the author's rules for counterpoints and extemporary 
playing on keyed instruments are concise and clear as far as 
they go." 7he latter qualification was needed ; I find the 
direction fot.fingerii^ of a -wondrous kind, involving the use 
of three fingers only of each hand, absolutely ignoring the 
thumbs and little fingers. 

Let us now examine our English system of finger signs ; 
here happily we can refer to a manuscript volume of English 
music, dated 1599, containing lessons for the virginals, which 
has the fingering fully marked. We find the whole of the 

* PistoTius'ii diclom wu cDrionaty ob^ed vbcn Moiart dcmonelnlcd 
-to Haydn the lue of the nou. 

Digiirzetl by C 

The Art of CtavUr 1 ' '''reicnL 

fingers of botli hands treeiv used, the lingei signs being 
1 1 2, 3, 4, 5 ; I always signifying ine thumb of either hand. 
We next examine a book pubushed in London in 1700 con- 
taining s. " Choice collection of Avres for the Harpsichord 
or Spmett, by Blow, Pigott. Clarke. Barrett, and Crofts." 
ThiE! bool! gives easy directions for voung beginners ; very 
curious directions they are ; iiie ngm ii^iiu lingers are duly 
marked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, the thumb being i; but the same 
figuics arc used for the left hand, and then the little finger 
is marked i and the thumb s. I have not found other 
instances of this erratic method, but in an old English 
instruction book for the harpsichord I read a very suggestive 
note that "the author explains things hitherto kept pro- 
foundly secret." * 

In 1731 Peler Prelleur published " The Modem Musick- 
Master, or the Universal Musician," which contained instruc- 
tions for playing on the flute, violin, hautboy, and harpsichord; 
in the latter we may find a considerable amount of interesting 
matter; especially noteworthy is the following observation 
on " Fingering" : — " Although there is no certain rule to be 
laid down for fingering of any fune that you may meet with, 
yet the following lessons may be a great inlet to it, if well 
observed. Note that in fingering your Thumb is the first 
finger and so on to the little Finger, which is the fifth." 
The author of this book was an organist in London ; in 1728 
lie was appointed to the church of St, Alban, Wood Street, 
and soon after became harpsichord player at the theatre in 
Goodman's Fields, where he continued to iierforni until 1737. 
He was the first organist of the new Christ Church in 
Spitalfickis and also accompanist at the New Weils " ia 
liman Street. His various compositions for the church and 
theatre are now forgotten, but his instructions for the harpsi- 
chord must soon have become well known, for they were 
republished auonyniou^ in 17.14, as the " Compleat Tutor 
for the Harpsichord." In 1754 ue same book of instructions 
was incorporated in a work called '' The Muses' Delight," 
published by Henry Purcell, a descendant of the great 
PuTcell ; its popularity is shown by the publication of 
subsequent editions in 1756 and 1757,* in all of which the 
fingenng appears as in the first edition. It has now been 
demonstrated that tlie plan of marking the thumbs with I, 
and the other fingers in consecutive order, was the Engli^ 
plan, dating at least from 1595, and continuing certainly to 

357, nearly 160 years. It is difficult to fix the ptecise date 
the change from the good old English method to the 
imperfect old German method, but it may be surmised that 

<■ Tbsn mm pabtEsbBd by Sadler of UTOpocd, who alio iuoad an 
edI&jD in 1754. 

Digllbzed by Google 

14 The Art of Clavier Playing. Past and Present. 

it was the work of German musicians who migrated fo this 
country. One of these was Rudolph Faikener, who stttled 
in London, and resided first in SaUsbnry Court, afterwards 
in Peterborough Court, Fleet Street. He publisheii and sold 
at his residence " Instructions for playing the Harpsichord, 
wherein is fully enplained the mystery of Thorough Bass, 
with many other material things very rarely given to scholars 
by the teachers of music." Two editions, 176a and 17741 
were published ; in them we find the thumb maiked X , the 
other fingers marked i, 2, 3, 4. About 1770 a new edition 
of the " Complcat Tutor," previously mentioned, appeared, 
withachansc eorrf.-qpondinf; -a-ith Frilkcner'^ plan. Then, 
shortly !i!;er tlif; appciranee of Falkf^ncr's book^ in London, 
another Germ:in, John Casper Heck, so!tl.jd liere, and he 
published two sets, of instructions for the harpsichord, one 
entitled "Tlie art of Fingering." The title-page says it 
" will prove very useful to all young beginners ; and such as 
have accustomed themselves to a wrong way of fingering 
may by this means be restored to the right method." Had 
Heck succeeded in his attempted restoration, he would have 
re-established the old English method, with i for the thumb ; 
but unhappily the attempt proved a failure. The great 
pianist, Clementi, sometimes called the father of pianoforte 
playing, came to London in 1777, and he used the bad 
method, marking the thumb with x — the fingers, I, 2, 3, 4. 
I possess a large quantity of his autograph MS. music, and 
find this was his undeviating practice. Dussek arrived 
eleven years after Clementi ; he too marked the thumb with 
X i as a Bohemian he was accustomed to the old German 
method. If wc remember that both Clementi and Dussek 
became music publishers in London, we shall not wonder 
that their example became the fashion. 

What is now erroneously termed " English fingering " was 
in general use in Germany from 1571 to 1741, John 
Sebastian Bach was the first to effect a complete reform of 
fingering and finger signs in Germany and to introduce the 
general use of the thumb; he adopted the idea from 
Couperin, whose clavier music he heard performed by French 
clavier players at Celle, and as a matter of course these 
performers were followers of Couperin's method of fingering. 
Fran(ois Couperin, commonly called " Le Grand," was born 
in Paris in 1668, where he exercised Ins profebsion until his 
death in 1733 ; he came of a nmsicai family, and several of 
his ancestors had been professional musicians. In 1696 he 
was appointed organist of St. Gcrvais, and also organist to 
the king; his repute as an organist was great, but was 
exceeded by his fame as a composer iind performer of 
clavecin music. He published several important vdiimes 
of muac composed expressly for the clavecin, but I msh to 

The A yt.of Clavier Playuig, Past an4 Pritmt, 15 

refer now patticulady to his important work " L'Art de 
toucher le Clavecin," published by him in Paris in 1717 ; a 
copy of the first edition is here for your inspectinn. Tn this 
book we find several notable points ; in the scale passages 
Couperin marks the thumb of each hand as a first finger, 
and indicates its use with the figure i. He commences the 
tonic of each scale in the right hand with the thumb, but he 
gives no direction for passing the thumb under in ascending 
the scale. He frequently and freely uses the thumb in 
changes with other fingers on the same note (after the manner 
which is absolutely necessary for smooth organ playing), and 
also in extended passages on white and black notes, but he 
rarely uses it to pass under the middle finger, and equally 
rarely passes the middle finger over the thumb. 

Two instances may be found in " L'Art de toucher " 
jn wbich a difierent method is employed ; here is one for the 
left hand on page 70, la which the pass of the middle finger 
is indicated several times : — 

the other example is for the right hand on page 66, giving 
distinct proof that Couperin had not then formed a fixed rule 
for the use 0/ the thumb- 

Reference to a few other passages which may be found in 
't L'Art de toucher " will prove of interest — for example, on 
page 29 we have a citation of the old manner of fingering, as 
follows — 

and then Couperin suggests the new method thus — 

and on page 30 a sequence of thirds— 

DigiiLzefl b/ Google 

i6 The Art of CtavUr Playing, Past anA Prtitnt. 
On pages 58, 59 the music ascenda to-— 

but a Bpedal note points out that a passage of twdve bars 
tnight be played an octave lower than printed, if the 
" davecin " did not possess the additional keys, a reminder 
that the usual compass of the instruments In France at that 
day (1717) was four octaves, precisely the compass given in 
Peter Prelleur's book, 1731. 

As I have said, Bach, ever on the alert to improve himself 
and his art, soon saw the advantages of the improvements 
invented and delailcd hy Coiipcrin, and was qiiilo ready and 
capable to adopt and perfect them in his own practice. 
When he commenced the practice of clavier playm;;, the 
thumbs ivere rarely used by any German nmsicianfi and the 
litUe (Hfth) fingers were only occasionally bronght into play. 

The reason for this arose probably from tlie disparity m 
length of the thumb and little linger as compared with the 
three middle fingers. The fingers were used almost in a 
straightened form without curving or bending, hence the 
thumb and little finger would hang down. And in order to 
play smoothly, especially on the organ, the practice was to 
slip one or other of the three middle fingers over or untler 
another finger. Sebastian Bach told his son, Philip 
Emmanuel, that in his youth the great players only used the 
despised thimib fisr very mde stretches. When Bach found 
the thamb could be tnrned to as good a use as the other 
fingers he began to devise a system for its employment, and 
first of all he discarded the rigidity or horizontal position 6t 
the fingers and adopted the curved form. With diligent 
practice he was thus able to acquire equality of touch. 
Strength and rapidity with both hands, and to make .each 
independent of the other. 

Philip Emmanuel Bach, in his" Art of playing the Clavier," 
in the section treating of fingering, speaks of the extension 
and improvements made by his father, which made every 
possible combination easy to play ; and he adds that he 
desires to base his teaching a^d progressive development 
on his father's method. If has been generally assumed that 
Philip Emmanuel's method was the same as his father's, but 
this is scarcely correct. Two small pieces with the fingering 
marked throughout in Sebastian Bach's own handwriting 
are still extant, and a comparison of these with the rules 
laid down by his son, Phihp Emmanuel, proves that there 
was a wide divergence between the practice of fether and 
son. Philip Emmanuel prohibits the passing of the middle 

The Art o) 

finger over the firnr. simnfinaii i)<isiciv<:iv i)rcKciiin;s uiis 
fingering three tinic'i 111 niiMnin's i ii ivf i.ri.irruii lo. me 
practke of passiiiir uini. i' i-iiiiiu I'.miiiariiiri umicK lo cue 
thumh. Sebastia: 
third twice in the BLiiiie liii^ire. 

Clavcr playing 
Germany, and haoDUv Uie tieiorma ne inaugurated have 
boriic !;oGd fruit. Probabfy he would, if he could come 
aiuongat .IS now, De Bstomsned not omy at our gigantic 
grand pianofortes with their extended comoass and enormous 

to say of one oi me mouern met nous oi playing tiiu 
instrument. I showed at the commencement of this paper 
that the early players of the clavier were frequently called 
strikers, and in these latter days the same term might 
occasionally be not inappropriately applied to tliose per- 
formers who, appearing to have a quarrel with the instrument, 
proceed in public to fight it out. The knowledge of music, 
hoth scientific and practical, is, however, steadily advancing, 
and the future is probably not distant when it will be 
recognised that the best clavier player is the performer who 
touches the heart and intellect, and the mere artist in 
fireworks and gymnastic display will occupy a second place 

In conclusion, I cannot forbear to express a hope that the 
system of marking the lingers, i, 2, 3, 4, 5. which is 
our own good old English plan, may again come into 
universal use ; it prevails all over the Continent of Europe 
and is the favoured method in the United States of America- 
Music is a universal lanetiage which ought to possess 
technical symbols UQiversaUy recognised and used. 


The Chairman.— 1 might begin with mv climax, a vote of 
thanks to Mr. Cumniings for hispappr; hut I am going to 
begin willi the remark.'! at the close of hi;: paper with regard 
to the contrasted touch of the piano and the organ. It is 
forgotten that ilistinctness must he the result of finger action, 
and it ought to be so, whether on the piano or on the organ. 
It ought not to require any more than the pressing down of 
one finger and the lifting up of another finger in either case, 
and there is no reason why the touch on the one should 
interfere with the touch on the other. Cipriani Potter said, 
" learn the piano first and get your touch fixed, and then the 
organ will donoharm." When one hears about these methods 

Digiiized t)y Coogle 

Tlie Art of Clavier Playing, Past and Present. 

of playing, and the old books about playing on keyed instru- 
ments, one thinks what happy people they were in olden, 
times. They had not the trouble of going through such works 
as we are obliged topractisenow-a-days, they were not weaned 
with going througli such courses of technical training, or so 
many of the difficulties of the pupil. They had to do Just 
what was put before them, and they acted on the principle 
that the way to do a thing was to do it, and if they had to 
play certain things, th£:y practised those things, and therefore 
the old works in the sonata form were called, by Handel and 
others, "Lessons for tho harpsichord," the lesson and the 
result of the lesson being one and the same tiling. With 
regard to the matter of accompaniment, I suppose there may 
be some here who do not know that the words "accompani- 
ment " and " thorough bass " were at one time synonymous ; 
that the ait of accompaniment was the ait of playing fo>m a 
figured bass, and that therefore "accompaniment," and 
'.'figured bass," and "thorough bass " all came to mean the 
same thing. Anyone looking at a catalogue of music and seeing 
"Geminiani" or somebody else on the art of " accompani- 
nii;nt," would think it was somotbinf,' to do with the art of 
playing. I have long bad a desire to possess the book we have 
examined this evening, and I find that after twenty years our 
lecturer has succeeded in getting a copy. I only wish that I 
had been just a little before him in setting it. With regard 
to the matter of passing the thumb under and the finge» 
over, I find a great deal of mistake exists. I could 
mention the name of someone who thinks he knows a 
good deal about technique in regard to playing, who told 
a pupil in my presence that he must not move his hand until 
just when he was going to put the thumb under the 
finger, which was the very opposite of what I had been 
telling my pupils — that the passing of the thumb was to 
effect the movement of the hand. With regard to the use 
of the thumb, it seems a little odd that there should be 
nothing of that kind in a book, or in a particular treatise 
about it. It seems so natural for us to use the thumb that 
we can hardly conceive there should be any doubt about it. 
Of course 1 know that the use of the thumb for stringed 
instruments, such as the violoncello, is a special matter. 
And respecting the position a\ the instrument, Mr. Cunimings 
spoke aliout Handel's donbled-up position, and so forth ; I 
think some other pianist that he mentioned look rather a 
curved position. That is the one great thing with regard to 
touch and to drawing out the tone of a keyed instruinent. 
A very great deal of loss of singing power results from not 
understanding the curved portion for stiikiog the key with 
the cushion <^ the finger, and holding it for the long notes 
by that means, for therein lies reaUy the whole substance 

The Art of Clavitr- Playing, Past and PnUMt. 


of the singing power. I have known of those who wondered 
how it is that certain persons can produce a susta.ined power 
on an instrument like the pianoforte, which is considered 
to be an unsustaining instrument. Instead of giving a mere 
blow one should press with the fioj;^ and keep the close 
position. My old master used to say it is close playing — that 
IS, keeping the hand close to the keys and ^pressing the keys 
with the hngers. I ask you to'join me with acclamation in 
a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Cummings for the exceeding 
interest of his paper. 

The vote of thanks was passed unanimously. 

Mr. Webb. — I do not quite agree with our Chairman 
concerning the production of singing tones ; I think a 
cantabile tone is produced by the quickness with which the 
key is depressed. The (]iiicker it jjoes down the bigger the 
tone, the tension on the string lieing greater ; according to 
the strength of the blow, so arc the harmonics generated. 
The singing tone depends on keeping down the key struck 
til! the next one is struck. The slightest division between 
the two produces a staccato. 

Mr. WhschI — Iwouldliketoask Mr. Cuinniugs whether, 
in the fmgering of the Bcales ^ven by Couperin, the thumb 
begins every scale ? Does he mean tHat the thumb is on the 
black notes ? 1 had the pleasure of studying with Mr. Oscar 
Beringer, and the direction I had from him (a pupil of 
Tausig) was that I was to produce the singing tone by 
pressure. Pressure on a note, after it has once been struck, 
can absolutely make no difference whatever. The only 
thing is this— the brain has an idea of pressing that causes 
the finger to strike the note in a peculiar way. The more 
fleshy part of the finger is used, the soft cushion strikes the 
note with an elastic touch, and the harmonics of a " singing 
tone" are developed. I have no doubt there are many 
present who have heard Kubinblein plav forlt passages. 
His full grand tone is quite dificrent lo Ih^: lortissinia of 
Paderewski. It seems to nie thai the production of tone 
really lies in (he musical feelini;. I- copio sav, ■■ Oh. what a 
lovely violin ! " But hear another plav-^r 0:1 it and it rounds 
like another instrument. The tone maiks t:;<^ it.dividualitv 
of the player. With regard to organ ana piaiiolorii; playing 
I will say this : that if one has much piano practice, when 
you are playing the organ there is a tendency in the /ortt 
passages to strike a great deal harder than necessary. .It 
may be fancy on my part, but the organ always seems to me 
to sound sweeter and fuller when the notes are pressed 
gently down. 

Mr. Havuik. — I was glad to hear Mr. Banister and others 
refer to the subject of touch, and I wish Mr. Cummings had 
said something more about it. One of the things that struck 

■file Art o/Clciiiii,- Phiyirg, Past and Pnssiil. 

me as interesting was the fact that Bach and Handel could- 
play equally w3l on the clavier instruments and on the 

'^i. CuHMiNss. — What we have just heard gives roe an 
opportunity of saying a tittle more about Bach and his 
playing with reference to touch. We know from the list of 
instruments which Bach left, made at his death, that he had 
a large number of harpsichords as well as clavichords, and 
we also know from his own statement that he preferred 
playing on the clavichord, because he was aiile to get 
expression from it. The clavichord would enable an ordinary 
player to vary the pitch a little, but of course in the bands 
of a genius it must have made an immense difference. It is 
scarcely fair to judge what the clavichord was in those days 
by those we hear now. Think of what this pianoforte will be 
in 200 years time— probably turned into a bread and cheese 
cupboard ! At all events, its tone will not be as good as it is 
now. There is not the least doubt that we have no concep- 
tion of what the old instruments were. It is recorded that 
Bach practised on both clavichord and harpsichord, but 
preferred the former, because it enabled him to ■play legato on 
the organ and helped his touch. I am not prepared to enter 
into the battle of touches modern — as, for example, Paderewski 
and Rubinstein — and the ancient style ; but I do think that in 
playing the pianoforte, as in many other things, the difierence 
IS not HO much in the method as in the genius who uses it> 
A man with a bad method with great genius may produce a 
result far beyond anything that can be done by one with the 
best method if that man be only a stupid. It is our duty to 
try and make the best of whichever method is in vogue : 
none should forget what was accomplished by Mendelssohn, 
who was equally accompUshed in organ and pianoforte touch. 
The world in its wisdom often reverts to some old plan, and 
if it should be found b^-and-bye that the present school of 
playing is not productive of the best result, we shall pro- 
bably go back again to the methods which were pursued ten, 
twenty, thirty years ago. There was something striking 
about Thalberg's playing ; his singing was of the most 
superb kind. It was wonderful the way in which he got 
out the tone ; but I would not be so rash as to assert that 
it was only method, I would rather say that it was method 
combined with genius. The matter of toucli was well con- 
sidered by Bach; he viiy inUnry ;ihoi;t il, and very 
careful in his instructions ro Ins |)iipil'^. iIhiwliie what could 
be got out of the harpsichord and, 011 Ihi: other haud, what 
improvements they could make on the clavichord. 

Mr. WeschS. — Thalberg used to say that the fingers had 
no bone, but only a fleshy cushion. 

Mr. BAHiSTBB^Thalb«rg says In the preface to his work. 

Tht Art of Clavier Playing, Past and Present. 

" L'Art du Chant appliqug au Piano," "The art of singing is 
the same on all instruments.- The art of slni;[ae, I am sure, is 
not shouting with all the power coming from I cannot say 
where; but if you once get a sympathetic toucli, I am sure 
it r.oEiies from tlie cusliion of tlie lingers, and from the heart 
of the player. I could mention names of pupils of what we 
will call, just for |;eaeralisation, the modern school of piano- 
forte players, saying to one of the older school i " How in the 
world do you produce that singing tone? While you were 
playing we could think that we heard the voice," That was 
the remark of some who had learned from a modern school 
teacher ; but tlicy coul.l not think how the player on the old 
system produced his singing tone. The reason ivas that that 
player did it by means of pressure. 

Mr. CuMMLNGS,— As a boy I often saw Tiirle playing on 
the Abbey organ, and anyone who watched him play would 
have seen that the whole front of the fingerboard was in a 
highly polished condition, as he 'jsed the thumb to support 
the other fingers. 

Digilized b/ Google 

H. C. BANISTER, lisg., 
In the Chair. 


By J. Tkeadway Hanson, F.R.I. B.A. 

Mr. Chairman and GuNTLEMtN, — When you did me the 
honour of asking me. to exhibit my metronome this evening 
I was in hopes of having a sew instrument made for the 
occauon, but mo(lel-maker has found it impossible to get 
one<:ompleted m time. I must, therefore, ask your indul* 
^rence for some want of neatness, in size and other matters, 
in the one on tlie table, it being the first one of the Icind 

it will, however, serve to show the principle of my 

It occurred to me that a metronome might be made to do 
all that the usual well knoi^Ti one does — and somethiiiR more ; 
that is, not onty mark the several bi-ats in each bar, distin- 
guishinp; the first by means of a bell, and leaving all the 
others exactly alike, but give each beat in the same manner 
as a conductor does with his baton. 

Nothing more than this is, of course, claimed for it. it is 
but mechanical and has the limitations inseparable from 
mechanism, and can only be of use for the practice of 
students when no conductor is present. 

Still you may possibly think there may be some advantage 
in students becoming accustomed to the various beats of a 
baton, and learning to attach a meaning to each of them. 

The sound of the tiell and the click of the ordinary instru- 
ment are botli avoided, which may be of advant^e alsoi 
espedally in ^glng practice. 

The principle and construction of the BAton Metronome 
are as tollows: — 

A small baton (when in use) is fixed into a socket in the 
front of the case, and is capable of movement in any 
direction by means of a ball and socket Joint. 

This ia actuated by four levers, each palling in a different 

These levers are worked by four keys resting on the top 
of a revolving barrel. 


A New Metronomi. 

The principle is much the same as that of a musical box, 
the arrangement of the different times, i J J |> taking the 
place of four tunes ; the barrel being shifted so as to bring at 
will the series of points (or camsl on the roller, designed to 
give the movements for the " time " required under tne keys 
which, in their turn, move the bSton. The keys are so 
spaced as to miss all the series of cams except the series 
which is required for the beats it is desired at the time to 

The movement is given by a spring, which is regulated as 
to its speed by a fan. This fan, by the very simple con- 
trivance of being placed more or less uilli ils side or edge 
to the wind, can be made to revolve at any required speed, 
and this without stopping the machine, which is advan- 
tage over the common metronome, which has to be stopped 
b^ore it can be re-adjusted. 

The gradations of speed, also, obtainable by this means, 
are practically infinite. 

The inclination of the fan to the wind is adjusted by a 
hand, moving on a dial at ihe side of the case, which may 
lie iiiark-rd ■.\ Ihc sair.cj as that on tiic pendulum of a 

There is 3.!so a conipcnsating movement in connection 
with the fan, which rectifies the effect of the spring which 
would otherwise work the machine at a greater spe^ when 
first wound up than when its strength is more expended. 

The metronome is set to the different " times " required 
by pulling out, by means of a linob, a bar on which are 
marks, which are in turn brought oppoate a sm^ pcnnter 
on the side of the case of the instrument. 


Mr, Banisteh. — It is ; 

/ou wolSd h 

Mr. Han SON .—This inbtrument is the first one made; but 
in one now being constructed I have overcome this drawback. 

A vote of thanks was proposed and carried to Mr. Hanson 
for exhibiting and describing the instrument. 

JAHUMV 9, IS94. 

W. H. CUMMINGS, Esq., Vice-President, 
In ran Chair. 


By Mrs. Jank M. E. Brcwnlow. 

The fifteenth century is a period of pi!ciiliar interest to 
musicians. The great transition from medisva! bondage 
to modem fireedom had b^un. Even the schoolmen, t)ie 
theoretical writers, were aflected by the spirit of the age. 
The movement must, therefore, have been going on amongst 
the people for some time, for history shows us Chat struggles 
fbi emancipation always begin from below, it is, however, 
exceedingly difficult to trace the growth of this movement. 
We know, as a matter of history, that from an early period 
the popular taste had, on the whole, rejected the ecclesiastical 
modes, in spite of the faipiliarity with their tonality, which 
must have been engendered by attendance at church 
services and functions tiiroiighoiit llic devout Middle Ages. 
Here and there popular meloiiics in ecclesiastical modes are 
preserved, but they are not many, nor do they bear the 
impress of that freshness which usually characterizes music, 
which is the spontaneous outgrowth of natural genius. 

When, some time ago, there came into my possession a 
volume pubhshed by the " SociStf des Anciens Textes 
Fran9ais," which not only contained a collection of 143 
songs of the riflr^i.jith ftntury, init in addition the original 
melodies J.uiis to tiiem, transcribed by so well known an 
authority as M. Augiiste Gevacrt, I felt that these melodies 
would probably repay close study and assist me in forming 
some idea of the popular French music of this interesting 
period. It was my purpose, if possible, to go over to Paris 
m the spring, there to investigate as far as .practlcable .the 

26 Some French Popular Songs of the Fifteenth Century. 

original MS., and to compare it with M. Gevaert's transcrip- 
tion. Excellent aod accurate as is his work he has made 
concessions to modern feeling by the insertion of a sharpened 
seventh, which the fee-similes given at the end of my volume 
do not sanction, and in the matter of editing, especially 
musical editing, we all know that the personal equation 
usually determmes doubtful points. 

But this paper, which I had hoped carefully to prepare for 
or June, was suddenly called for in January, An 
unfortunate attack of influenza made mc quite incapable of 
work during the greater part of the Christmas season, and I 
fear to-night that the members of the Musical Association 
will have Dut little to interest them in the few remarks I can 
make on the melodies in this collection. Under any circum- 
stances I should feel much diffidence in speaking upon 
musical subjects to an audience mainly composed of the 
leading authorities upon music. To-night 1 am obliged to 
ask special indulgence, and can only hope that the filct of 
my bringing these melodies to your notice may be the means 
of^ inducing someone far more competent than I am to 
undertake their investigation. 

The poetry of the people and the folk-song being orally 
transmitted from generation to generation, and, therefore, 
liable to much variation and expansion, are difficult to trace 
to an origin. M. le Vicomte Hersart tie la Villemarqu£, in 
his interesting work on the traditions of Brittany, gives a 
graphic account of the actual making of the folk ballad, which 
seemed to me so admirable a description that I have tran- 

" The poet," he says, " usually plays the part of chronicler. 
Any event of whatever nature it may be, proviiied that it 
is recent, and that it has caused some stir, furnishes him 
with the material for a song. , , . Uesides, he is often only 
the leader of an inspired gathering, Soniconi^ conius in in 
the evening and relates something whicli h.ii jast huppL-ned ; 
they talk about it ; a second visitor presents himself with 
new details ; wits warm. A third arrives who brings emotion 
to a crisis, and everyonr, cries, ■ Let us make a song." The 
local poet is naturally askcil to give the note and to begin. 
At first he has to be pressed (this is cnatomaiy), then he 
sings. Everyone repeats the improvised verse after him. 
His next neighbour continues the song ; they again repeat ; 
a third goes on, with fresh repetition from the heartrs ; a 
fourth tries to excel ; each of the assembly in turn makes his 
verse, and the piece, the work of all, repeated by a!!, and 
remembered as soon as composed, flies the next day from 
parish to parish on the wings of the refrain."* Most ballads 

* " Baraw Bnii : Ciuuts P^nlairei it la Bratane," par Is Vicoiiite 
Hsnut de la Viltsiiiiiquf. finn Edition (Puii, 1867]. pige xuvL, iixvli.- 

Some Frtnch Popular Song* of tht Fifteenth Century, a? 

are thus composed in collaboration. This method of 
improvisation is called in Brittany diskan (repeli. 
tion). . . . Words wedtkd to nislody are, in fact, the 
expression of all really popular poetry. Its union with 
music is so close that if the air of a song is forgotten, the 
yrords are forgotten also. Usually words and mdody come 
into existence simultaneouBly. Sometimes the melody is 

Elsewheie H. de la Villemaiqii6 deacdbn " a master miller 
said to be the most celebrated »iiger « ^i!!>e mountains. He 
led tbe dance and the song; .fbraMstii. she had his miller's 
man, seven labourersi and three itiaermt rag pickers. His 
method of composition was as follofts : Tik first Jine of each 
distich of the ballad being made, he repeated >. sevti^al times; 
his companions then repeated it, giving him timttocioinpose 
the second, which they took up in the same way, a1vur£iip. 
When a d^ich was finished, he usually began the foUowing 
vnth the last words, sametimes the last line of the distich, so 
that the couplets fitted into one another. When v(Hce or 
inspiration failed him, his neighbour on the right continued ; 
to him succeeded the third, then the fourth, and all the 
others in turn, until the sonj; returned to the first, with 
whom the chain tecommenced."t Here then we have a 
description of the actual process of manufacture of a popular 
ballad, a probable survival from very early times. ! may 
cali your attention to the Welsh practice of extemporising in 
a similar manner, on a given theme known as Penillioa, fully 
explained by Mr. Thomas in his admirable article on Welsh 
music in Grove's Dictionary. The same kind of thing seems 
to be alluded to by Chancer, speaking of the Friar, when he 
says of him : 

Of Ytdditigi bs ban utterly the piiic. 
Yedding was a kind of extemporised song, and the word, now 
as obsolete as the practice, was derived from the Anglo- 
Saxon " peddian " — to sing. 

In the Middle Ages the art of music was understood as a 
science, and had to submii i" tiv- rxiraorrunary conditions 
which characterised the kiiowicnFrf or tiii; cmie. Its theory 
was expounded by clerics ill iiie longne, and Only 

persons who could devote e to its study 

rather as an abstract braiicii oi iiiaitjcniaiics were able to 
attain anything like a knowledge of the principles then 
supposed to govern its construction. The fact that eccle- 
siastical music was entirely constructed on a tonality and 
rhythmic basis of Eastern origin, consequently foreign to the 
genius of the nations of Northern Europe, from the beginning 
raised an almost insurmountable barrier between Sa^d and 

98 Same French Popular Songs of the Fifteenth Century. 

Secular Ait. The influence of race characteristics upon the 
popular music of any nation has not, I believe, ever been 
exhaustively studied; but no miisician will deny that just as 
wo recognise the works of great composers by that indefin- 
able, but unmistakable personal flavour, which permeates 
every bar, so the popular melodies of any people are 
distinguished by that same subtle essence. Now va art 
there are affinities and antipathies. Art which is growing, 
more especially m its elementary stages, assimilates some 
elements and rejects others bv some process of natural 
selection wlncli ','ienia analysis. Beautifu! and impressive 
as was the mv.sic \vc know as Gregorian, its tonality was the 
tonality of .-the Greeks, a people whose natural genius and 
whose aUistif ideal was esscutiallv opposed to the genius 
and ideal of the peoples of Northern Europe. Nor was 
A toiiiility alone which so widely severed ecclesiastical 
and. Mmfax music. The rhythm of church sons' was 
undoubtedly modelled on the strongly accented rhythmic 
but free recitation of the Greeks, in whose language 
quantity had a value which it is almost impossible for 
our modern ear to retofinise. The rhylliin of the popular 
music of European nations after the great mtermixture of 
races with the Northern peoples was more generally founded 
on the strictly regular reiterations of accent demanded bv 
tiie dance. Again, trom an early period attempts were made 
to note church music, to regulate it, to bring it under the 
dominion of supposed scientific laws, while folk-music was 
exempt from all rule. 

The student of musical history finds therefore in the 
Middle Ages two distinct lines; the one academic, pseudo- 
Mcienmic. based on an arbitrary system of tonahty and 
rhythm, foreifjn to the idiosyncrasies of the Northern nations 
which had overspread Europe ; the other popular, the 
natural spontaneous expression of the emotions of the people 
— untraiin^d, untrammelled, subject to no rules. 

Popular music in its original forms is rarely to be found 
noted. Handed on orally, subject to much variation in the 
process, such fragments as have been transcribed by 
musicians during tiie last century' in Europe must neces- 
sarily be considered with caution, and it is hardly possible 
to build decisive theories upon such foundation. The 
popidar melodies of France during the Middle Ages had 
perhaps a somewhat better chance of being recorded than 
those of other countries. The work of the Troubadours and 
Trouvires influenced the direction talten by the in 
its development. The iuterminable lais of the tenth 
centuiy, with their sixty or more verses chanted to a short, 
monotonous foimula, were gradually replaced by shorter 
poems, whose airs were of more extended compass ; for the new 

Some French Popular Songs of thi FifUenth Century. 2g 

rhythms and varied forms of Troubadour poetry necessitated 
melodies of suitable shape, though true, musical form was 
still unknown. The Troubadours themselves seem to have 
founded the musical part of their work on popular tradition 
rather than on the scholastic scientific method of the time. 
In some instances it seems probable (and this view is sup- 
ported by M. Fetis) that they adapted already existing 
popular melodies to their poetry instead of composing new 
ones. Many of them depended on their Jongleurs for their 
muac, and these Jongleurs seem often to have been merely 
the ordina^ wandering profesdonai minstrels, whose lore 
hod been picked up at veiUies and rustic gatherings. The 
melodies these men had learnt in this way might often suffer' 
from considerable embellishment, and no doubt the Jongleur 
often found it no easy matter to fit a suitable tune to the 
elegant verses of his employer. Should his efforts prove 
unsatisfactory he might lose his situation and be reduced 
once more to a condition of perambulating from fair to 
funeral, and from wedding to camp, thus carrying to the 
pt^oplo the more relinod art he had leatnt during his servitude. 
That the people were considerably inHucnccd by such means 
the history of literature shows clearly. 

In music, perhaps more than in any other pursuit, that 
insensible influence which I may term the " education of 
environment" is (he really most powerful factor in deter-' 
mining the ultimate direction of development. I have 
mentioned the wide divergence which at first existed between 
ecclesiastical and popular music. It was not possible that 
such difference could very long continue. The children who 
had been taught in monastic schools, and who had from time 
to time been trained to take part in festivals and functions 
of the church, would have learned melodies composed in the 
ecclesiastical modes, and their ears would thus have become 
accustomed to scales which ditTcted considerably from the 
scales of popular music. The impression thus received would 
be confirmed every time they attended a service of the 
church. On the other hand, the clergy could not remain 
entirely unaffected by the tonality of popular music. The 
ecclesiastical composers were indeed in the habit of taking 
secular melodies as the basis for those astonishing poly- 
phonic structures which were the delight of learned 
musicians in the Middle Ages, Consequently, we find the 
fifteenth century to be a period of considerable unrest. The 
numerical combinations allowed by medieval theorists had 
ceased to satisfy. Men began to feel after some more living 
method of expression. The relation between musical sounds 
and human emotion was being dimly guessed ai. Popular 
melody was' ceasing to be the spontaneous growth <n the 
feeling of l;he untutored people, nnd was coming to be the 

30 Somt French PopUU^ Songs of the Fifietnth Century. 

more deliberate arrangetndit of notes meant to carry poetry 
of special purpose, M. Leroux de Lincy says : " Towards 
the end of the fifteenth century, not only the jongleurs and 
the Troiiviies, but even the Menfstriers who succeeded them 
entirely disappeared, and were succeeded by poets properly 
so-called. The popular song changed in form and in 
language. The historical ballad and the love song still 
existed, but both afTected a kind of poetry and began (o bend 
to the rules which it imposes."* Naturally this change 
would affect the melodies, which would become more corre- 
spondingly formal. 

The collection of sonf;s of which I am to speak originated 
in the North-West of France, a country long devastated tw 
Enghsh wars. There are. however, few historical ballads 
among them. They consist mainly of love songs, pastorals, 
son)?s of May, and such. Some of them as regard poetry 
are undoubtedly the work of a small band of obscure poels 
of the Vau de Vire. Early in the fifteenth century there 
s(;rms ri) have existed in the Vau de Viret in Normandy a 
smalt band of men who were known as les GalanU, or Us 
Coaipagnons Galois. Tbey^ appear to have composed a vast 
number of chansons of- various kinds and to have originated 
the gay couplets now known as Vaudeville. Some writers, 
indeed, derive the word from Voiz de Ville, and consider its 
origin to have been the popular street songs of a later period ; 
but the balance of evidence seems to justify those writers 
who ascribe the origin of short, light Songs to Olivier 
Basselin and the "Companions" of the Vau de Vire. Of 
them M. Leroux de Lincy says, " (he object of their devotion 
was the bottle,"t This estimate I am unable to agree with, 
as extremely few of their songs are drinking songs. While 
these gallants of Normandy were creating a new form of 
literature without suspecting it, their enjojTnents were 
disturbed by the English conquerors, who devastated the 
country. Indications are not wanting that the band of poets 
became a band of free lances, making guerilla warfare upon 
the invaders and stimulating popular feelings by their songs. 
They seem to have been led by Olivier Basselin, who owned 
a fulling mill in the Val de Vire. He was killed in some 
obscure engagement with the English, apparently about the 
middle of the fifteenth century. One of the songs preserved, 
which seems to have been extremely popular, as the words 
are included in at least three collections made before the end 
of the eenttuiy, is a lament over his untimely end. It is 
written in the fiist ecclesiastical mode, and has notes 

* ** Recodl is Cfaants Fnii{iiB," VoL L. p. 34. 

JComipllon of Vol it Vire. 
" RecocD de CtuuiU Freof^," Vol. I., p. 197. 

Soma French Popular Songs of the Fifteenth Century. 31 

apparently for instrumental accompaniment at the beginning 
of the musical phrases : — 

Et de-me ■ net iouy - eu - w vi 
Par U pa - is di Nor - man di 

A ceglx^qui ^1«B kiu - loy eni bien dir - - re. 

The MS. which contains the collection of songs on which 
my remarks are based is in the Bibiioth&que NalionaJe of 
France, No. 12,744- 1' apparently deposited there 

about the period of tht Revolution. It is a handsome foiio 
volume, with 108 leaves of parchment. At the bottom of 
each page arc two or three, occaKionaliy four, five-line 
staves, not always filled np with notes, because the melody is 
only set to the first vetse of each chanson, while some of 
thfm are of considerable length, the words occnpying three 
or four pages. The words oftlw firBt verse of each chanson, 
are usually repeated under the musical notes. The notation 
used is the orditiary 'wlute notation of the period. Not 
having studied the original MS., I am usable to ^ve further 
detaJl on this point, and am compelled to rely entirely on the 
tranacriptioD. made by M. Gevaert. 
The poetry shows tnat the greater number of the songs ate 

33 Some French Popular Songs of tht Fifttenth Century. 

of Norman origin. There are several other M5S. in exist- 
ence of about the same period, which contain collections of 
popular songs. One of these, known as the MS. of BayeuK 
(now in the Bibliothfique Nationale), contains 102 songs, of 
which thirty-four are found in this collection. Another, 
known as the MS. de Vire (also now in the BibliothSque 
Nationale), contains twenty songs, of which eleven are in 
this collection. How extremely popular the songs must have 
been is shown, I think, by the fact that ihe worils of one are 
found in five coilections ; the words of three in four collec- 
tions; the words of sixteen in ihree collections, and the 
words of thirty-one in two coUeciions. While a certain 
amount of evidence exists as 10 the words of these songs, 
there is nothing to he found which throws anv light whatever 
upon the melodies. Tho other collections referred to are not 
accompanit'iiJ by i:LuL:ic. I ujVc, luereiore, analysed these 
melodies vLr\ nirL :.Lll\ foi iuternal evidence, and find several 
interestinjj jjuinlb lu Li: remarked. 

First, as regards tonality. Twenty are in the key of C 
major ; forty-two in F major ; one in G major. The melodies 
set to the words known to be the most ancient are ail in 
F major. On the other hand, the influence of the eccle- 
siastical music of which I have spoken is evident in the fact 
that thirty-six of the melodies ■ are written in the first 

I will now proceed to sing some typical specimens of each 

This, from the names and its general character, appears to 
belong to the rustic idyll of Robin and Marion, to which a 
great number of pastorals of the thirteenth century pertain, 
and which has been rendered celebrated tlirough the well 
known opera of that name by Adam de la Halle. It is 
probably one of the oldest songs in the t»)llection. The air, 
m the key of P major, has a pleasant rhythmic swing, and 
like many of these melodies lies within, the compass 'of a 
major sixth — 

i-qae Ro- bin j'ay 

Digilized by Google 

,Vo!jj.; Pre,ini P<>p:,Jor Soagi I'f the Fifteenth Century. 33 

nn..])oiir vny Hon - vay Pluique D'citfon-mepourvrB?. 
de . . nen -dia;. . ■ • Fm-idB' run je da-vicn-dny. 

The refrain Hmivay comes apparently from an old French 
verb, axoyer — to put in the way — set going — start off— and is 
found in very ancient French songs. 

Another song of very similar character is No, 12, the' 
words of which are mixed with expressions in the Savoyard 
dialect. When Olivier Mailiard, chaplain to Louis XI. and 
also to the Duke of Burgundy, was preaching at Toulouse in 
1502, he sang a hymn to the air of " Bergerotte Savoysienne," 
probably the identical melody noted here. Mailiard wrote a 
good many ballads, which lie may have set to music himself. 
He was a celebrated preacher, and is said to have been an 
originator of the coughing eloquence of the time. One 
edition of his sermons, published in the year 1500, has the 
raarfjin marked with frequent hem', hem', "to show the 
places where it wi.s ihe custom, almost the duty of the 
pteaclier to stop anil cough " f— 

• Biogtaphle Ualvandle, Tome xxvi., p. ijg. 

34 Some French Popular Songs of the Fifteenth Century. 

- rs Ou pu- • la me ran ■ . . de on aoD. 

In this air you will remark that the second part modulates to 
the key of the dominant If the B ia raised a semitone. 
M. Gevacrt has inserted this accidental in brackets, and 
certainly to our ears the melody seems more complete when 
thus sung. 

The melodies in C major are equally interesting. They 
mostly show a distinctness of fiona and balance which seems 
absent from the melodies in the ecclesiastical modes. 

Three of the melodies in the collection lie within the com- 
pass of a fourth. The words attached to these are rather 
coarse, and they appear to belong to about the thirteenth 
century, or might be even older. One of these restricted 
melodies shows a certain peculiarity of rhythm — 

En • trie jc inia en giant tor - BKnl Mon a ' my 

pmlr vODB le • gar - der Oi me dmnl Dien nl • 

The next air in C majot to which I shall call your attention 
is one which appears to have been extremely popular. It is 
found in five MSS. The words are very graceful. The 
melody is pleasant and flowing and shows a form which 
seems to have been becoming usual at thisperiod in England — 
that is, the return to the first part of the air for a conclusion 
after the second part. The intrbdnction of this practice has 
been very generally ascribed to Alessandro Scarlatti, but so 
many instances are to-be found in popular mu»c of the 
fifteenth century in Fiance as well as u England that it 
can only be concluded that he, like many other great writers, 
merely formulated an existing practice. Interesting examples 

Digilbzed by C( 

36 Some Frtnch Popular Songs of the Fifteenth Century. 

Many other interesting examples could be dted of the 
regular form of these melodies in F and C major, which 

Same French Popular Songs of tin Fi/leeiitli Century. 37 

show an almost modem feeling in their construction. But I 
must now pass on to specimens of the melodies in ecclesias- 
tical modes. There are fifty-seven of these in the collecfioo, 
which contains only one hundred and forty-three altogether. 
This proportion ^ows how great was that infiuence of 
church music upon the tonality of popular music, which I 
have already alluded to. By far the greater number ate in 
the first authentic mode, and it is noticeahle that the airs in 
the modes are much more highly ornamented than those in 
the F and C scales. Indeed, in their general character they 
closely resemble the church music from which they were 

moy» .... de may Qui n'ea - loit ifue - res 

bon - DC fay Que pa - la - dis fuR 

piia . . . dn moy. J'ouy 'h*" ■ ""B 

38 Some French Popular Songs of thi Fifteenih Century. 

This is one of the most tuneful specimenEi wliicli I have 
found in this mode. Yoti will have observed liie Da Capo. 
Tiiree verses, consequently three repetitions of the second 
part of the air, occur between the first part and its second 
enuncialion when it serves as conclusion. 

The next two examples show the florid style I mentioned — 

b1«: Tn^ Jsu-nu ix mH- >el - let *V 

Digilkzetl by Google 

40 Some French Popular Songs of the Fifteenth Century. 

Some French Popular Songs of the Fifteenth Century. 41 

The words refer to the Italian expeditions undertaken by- 
Charles VIII. between 1491 and 1496, and the bellicose 
nature of the first two verses has been very considerately 
contradicted by a later poet of more moral tendency, who 
had added a most discouraging third stanza : 
GalUos qui dcBirei la guorc, 
Ce' n'eit qui toutc amnion ; 
II d'b li grant uignsur aur tene 
Qui n'en irieDgns a peididim; 
Lussei ceate diacencion 

Qni flit mourir mi[nle personne, 
AqHnUe pelil que^ giant ; 

You will have observed the leading note in this air and in 
several others. I find that twenty-rour of these songs have 
the major seventh leading to the tonic. Of these twenty-one 
are in the key of F major, the other three in C major. 
Twenty-four have a minor seventh as leading note. 'The rest 
of the songs mostly end with supertonic preceding tonic 

This paper has plready extended considerably beyond the 
limits within which I had purposed to confine it. In con- 
clusion i niay quoit: Mr. John HoUah, who Says : " Down to 

about the end of the fifteenth century in the scholastic music 
there was no art, and in the popiuar mu»c no science."* 
Although these songs do not show any science m their con- 
struction, yet they do show a striving after completeness of 
ibnn, and some display an almost modem feeing, whicii 
makes them an interesting link In the evidence of that 
approximation bet^en the scientiflc and the popular music 
cu the Middle Ages, which subsequently developed into that 
magnificent and complex structure wnich we call modem 

■ ■<TnuitianperiodofMiuicaIHiHoi7,"p.6. 

43 Some French Popular Songt of tht FifUenth CentHty. 

Mr. CuMMiNGS. — I am sure I' am in accord with your 
wishes when I thank Mrs. Brownlow for the very interesting 
lecture she has given us on a rather abstruse and little known 
subject. It is a paper which must have given her a great 
deal of trouble, and we are much indebted to her for bringing 
it forward. There are some few suggestions which occurred 
to me whilst she was reading it. One is that it is impossible 
to come to an accurate jud^nitnt about the authenticity of 
the tunts without first csfiniining the manuscripts from which 
they are taken. Even a photograph of a niaruscripl is not 
always sufficient evidence to {jive an approNimate date. Of 
course it is well known to ail who are accustomed to 
manuscripts, that sometimes for the sake of economy a later 
scribe erases what his predecessor put upon the parchment, 
and substitutes his own melody or words. This is easily 
ascertain a ill e hy a careful investigation of the parchment, 
but it cannot he found out by merely looking at a photograph. 
Then, apain, as to the date of tlie tunes, it is not always 
safe to infer that, tiecausc a tunc is used l)y an author in the 
seventeenth century, that it belongs to that period. If I may 
give a modern instance to explain what I mean, 1 woutd 
take the well-known " Sally in our Alley." You will all say it 
Is by Carey, but the tune we now sing it to was written a 
hundred years before Carey lived. The tune which he com- 
posed is never sung, but his name is always put to the song, 
as if both words and music were his. Of course there are 
other instances. The beautiful song, "All in the Downs," 
by Levetidge, has been set to other tunes by other composers, 
so that you can he not at all sure, unless you are familiar 
with the subject, that you have the work of Leveridge at all. 
And then again. Gcvaert ; one must speak of him with 
respect, yet all the work that hehas done is Dot to beimplicitly 
relied on. It wants very careful sifting j you must use the 
evidence of your own eyes and your own senses. There was 
an interesting reference just now to the Penilllon singing in 
Wales. One must remember that the instrument used was 
the Welsh harp, with no possibility of modulating; all the 
harpers I have heard have played a tune of about eight bars. 
They did not sing themselves, but a gentleman who had the 
divine afflatus stood up and, as the spirit moved him, he 
jumped into the tune at any part of it in a most extraordinary 
way. It frequently interfered with the flow of the tune in an 
amusing fashion. I cannot tell whether that is a relic 
of very ancient times. I am fuJij- in accord with our lecturer 
as to the antagonism which existed between people's song 
and church music ; I believe that in this country, centuries 

Some French Popular Songi of the Fi/leenth Ceniury, 43 

before church tunes were brouslit here, we had a perfect 
music, perfect in its harmony, and perfect in its melody. 
I need only instance " Summer is coming in," which is not 
only a tune, but a harmonised composition. It is certain it 
was copied into the book in which it is preserved by .a monk 
of Reading, John Fornsete, in izsS; and I am convinced 
it was not bis tune at all, he simply noted down a popular 
tune fot the purpose of ^putting Latin words to it, to intro- 
duce it into the chmch, m order that he migfit get proselytes 
from the ])eople around. The manuscript bears evident 
marks of his attempts to fit Latin words to supersede the old 
English words. And there is another inlerestinjj point. 
Notthumbria possesses to this day llie old bag -pipe blown 
with the bellows under ihe arm, which undoubtedly is one of 
the oldest forms of bag-pipe. As a matter of fact, the scale 
of that pipe is the perfect diatonic scale of G. Thie Is very 
strong evidence indeed that the people's song in this country, 
before it was interfered with by the monks, was a perfect 
one. I believe that the song of the people was beautiful, and 
preceded that of tlie Church ; it came from the North, whereas 
the church tunes came from the South. It is rather curious lo 
find so many tunes in the major key in this translation of 
Gevaert. Th^tt is a matter about which I am very sceptical. 
Of course in translating old music, people have over and 
over again felt it their business to produce a beautiful 
picture, and they have done it, whereas probably an abso- 
lutely true translation would have been anything but 

Mrs. Brownlow.— I agree with Mr. Cummings about the 
unreliability of transcriptions. 1 have had a good deal of 
experience in manuscripts and know how difficult it is to 
accept anybody's manuscript unless one has verified it. I 
have also found that in spite of the errors in the manuscripts 
the tunes are usually authentic. 

Mr. Cummings. — In Grove's Dictionary there is a reference 
to a manuscript in the Bodleian Library, which is described 
as belonging to the eleventh century, and which was cited to 
prove the use of a four-line staff. The book was written at 
that period, but in a few pages we see that the old neunue 
notation has been erased, and a later scribe has inserted the 
staff I have referred to. 

[A vote of thanks was then passed.] 

Febbuahv 13, IB94- 

H. C. BANISTER, Esq., 
In thb Chaik. 

By Captain C. R. Dat, F.S.A., Oxfordghibe Light 


0; all the Indian arts one of the most papular is that of 
music, and perhaps of them all the least known to Euro- 
peans. Almost every one who has been in India knows that 
native music exists, but there are comparatively few who 
recognise tlie deep hold that it possesses over Indian minds. 
Europeans, as a rule, leave India with the idea that the 
natioDal music of the country consists only of noise and 
incessant drumming, varied, perhaps, by nasal drawling — 
equally repulsive as unmusical. That thero is a real musical 
art — with an employment of various scales, abounding in 
rhythmical beauty and full of passionate expression, seems 
to many almost incredible. And yet this is so, 

Sanskrit scholars and Orientalists are aware of the exist- 
ence of many Indian musical works ; indeed, the BhSrata 
ShSstra, a work written by the seer Bhacata, before the 
Christian era, is one of the most valuable works upon 
ancient music that we possess, and it is ivorthy of note that 
an interesting translation of it is being prepared by M. 
Grosset of Lvons.* Of a date rather later than BhArrita's 
work, we have the Sanglta Ratnfikera, a lenglliy treslise 
which may be said to be the oftenest q^uoted authority upon 
the ancient music of India. Time does not permit an 
examination of the contents of these or other of the many 
Sanskrit musical works; it must suffice to say that they 
contain very full descriptions^ of the ancient melody types, 
technically known as R£igas;*aiid of the TAlas orrhyuunic 
forms;, there are also lists of the various mn^cal instru- 
ments, details of their construction, and of the methods of 
playing upon them. As regards other Sanskrit musical 
works, careful enquiry shows that there are about 100, 

* Pending tliepablicatkm of the completa mik, H, Grouet tias published, 
UBder the Ucle of CoatrlbutliHi i I'Etade de la Mudqas Hindoue" 
(FarlB : Leroun, iSSS), a lianalation, commentny, aai Saoakrit teit pf tha 
zSth sdbyaya of this work : most valuable to the studeat. 


Nolis on Indian Muiie, 

mostly in MSS., of later date than the two previously 
mentioned, still in existence. 

Natives of India say tliat mu^c is of divine origin, and 
th^ attach a great importance to tlie art in their reli^ous 
observances — indeed, it was generally held that sacrificial 
rites {yagaiHs) lost their efficacy unless three Brahmins were 
present, two playing upon the Vina and the third chanting 
Shasttas. Hiii<tii mvthology abounds with references to 
music; and indued llic very notes of the scale and the 
melody types are considered as but representative of the 
celestial beings from whom they take their names. Music is 
Itnown as the fifth Veda ; the ancient mu^cal writings are 
generally spoken of as Ghandirva Shftstra or Ghandiiya 
Veda; the name, Ghandftrva, being given the celestial 

The object of this paper is, however, to give a sketch of 
modem Indian music, rather than to treat of the history, 
antiquity, and traditions of the art. 

SangUa, as music is called, comprehends vocal music, 
instrumental music, and dancing ; we shall conline ourselves 
to the first two. 

The Hindus divide their octave into twentj-'two intervals 
called s'rutis. The temperament of the Indian scale would 
therefore at first sight appear to differ widely from any 
(emperaiiiont recognised in Europe. Recent enquiry, how- 
ever, shows that there has existed a considerable iliference 
of opinion as lo whether the twenty-two s'rutis were equal 
divisions of the octave or not, and even in the Sanskrit works 
this is not clearly explained ; one of them, indeed [the 
" Sanjjita Ratnavali "), goes so far as to say : " Every distinct 
audible sound is a s'ruti ; it is a s'ruti ijecause it is to be 
heard by the ear." Hence it appears thai the existence of 
these s'rutis, or intervals less than semitones, is purely 
theoretical, and when employed is prattieally limited to 
purposes of grace and embellishment. And as Indian music 
. abounds in ^race of all sorts, the use of the s'rutis is general 
and the ear ts sometimes led to believe that the division of 
the scale is different from what it really is. The system of 
the division of the scale is lixed, and yet it allows of agreat 
deal of expressive grace at the player's fency. And so, 
possibly from a natural transfOTmation tending to simplicity, 
or, perhaps, from an adaptation more suitable for practical 
use tlian a fine-spun theory, the Hindu scale has become 
practically a half-tone one, allowing of the performance of 
expiessve melodic music which is capable of the greatest 
refinement of treatment, while altogether outside the experi- 
ence of the Western musician. 

The temperament of the Indian scale has from time to 
time attracted cansidera'ble attention amongst acousticians 

Noles ni! Indian iMiisic. 47 

and musicologists, and as early as 1807 formed the subject 
of a paper by Mr. Paterson, to be found in Asiatic researches. 
In 1S77, however, before the Royal Society, Mr. Bosanquet 
proved that the fifths and thirds produced by an eqmU 
division of the octave into twenty-two parts do not diSer 
very widely from the exact intervals which are the foundation 
of the diatonic scale, the fifth being '07 of a comma sharp, 
and the third being -045 of a comma flat. The late Dr. A. J. 
Ellis, P.R.S., however, went far more deepliT into the subject, 
and his researches contain the most valuable information of 
the kind we possess. 

Dr. A. J. Ellis endeavoured to solve definltelv this vexed 
question of temperament by securing a set ot tuning lorks. 
accurately adjusted to the twentv-tno s'rutis bv native 
musicians in India. With this view he entered into corres- 
pondence with the Rajah Sir H. M. Tagore. wiio agreed to 
provide the forks so adjusteil. iluwever. ttiR lorJts wcie 
tuned by means of sliding wuiutiiK. aii<i o[i uiuir ariivai 111 
England they were found to be practicaiiv useiess : being 
compared with Dr. Ellis's tniionnTiT iiiuv yavi- mi ififiiim f>r 
value. Dr. EWh then sent 
forks, timed cm the a^siuiiipi 

so divided, requesting that nii; \--tKii him.iiiki hi; iriiincd 
where wrong. This the Raj, ill ininle no )illi:iiiiil Lr.i ilo. "I He 
Rajah apparently trusts to cue ear aione, aua iiic ear is not 
to be relied upon for minute intervals, and Dr. Ellis could 
get no satisfactory information from this gentleman. How- 
ever, in a work entitled " The Musical Scales of the Hindus," 
Sir S. M. Tagore gave other details for the division of the 
Indian scale from which Dt, Ellis was enabled, in conjunction 
with Mr. Hipkins, to work out the data given below; the 
figures are in cents-i.c , yj^ parts of an equal semitone. 
The calcui.ition of the v.^hles has been worked out according 
to (according lo Tagore) both the present usage and the 



4 5 




— D 

EBi Eb E 



53 20^ 

. 2643 325^ 3K6 



99 I 

J I 20^ 

. 259 3"6 374 

Degrees : 


13 '4 '5 

Notes : 



Fx G AS) 





651 702 753 





637 6S5 736 

. 16 


■ 18 


Notes : 




B B$ 




966I J 

[027J 1088 1 144 






lou 1070 1135 

48 -Vo/cs oil india>\ Music. 

Remarking upon these experiments, it must be noted that 
although our equally- tempered scale is represented pretty 
well, stiU that the Dti), Eft, Ej, Fx, A*, B*, B| have no 
equivalents in any European system. 

The national instrument (the Vina], however, is ftetled 
semilouically, and Dr. Ellis kindly examined several 
specimens forme, arriving at the conclusion that the intervals 
were very close to those of our equally tempered scale. I 
give below the result of one such e: 
hundredth parts of an equal b< '' 

Cents: o 97 195 3" 397 S^S 596 6g2 
Notes: GA>ABt>B cd> d 
Cents; 783 683 997 looi 1207 
Notes: e f ^ g 

Dr. Ellis and Mr. Hipkias further examined critically and 
in the most patient and searching manner, the Rajah Sir 
S. M. Tagore's s'ruti Vina, now in the South Kensington 
Museum, and also an old Vina now in my possession ; 
the result of these experiments have been published la 
detail in ray work upon Indian Music,* and lime does not 
allow of my more than mentioning the matter herei 

As regards the apparent simiJarity of the Indian and 
European scales, we must remember that the latter were 
evolved, in process of time, from those of ancient Greece. 
Whether there can have been any direct connt'Clion between 
Indian music and that of ancient Greece must be: a inatter 
of pure conjecture. It is, however, toler-iblv certain that the 
music of the whole ancient world consisted entirely of 
melody, and that harmonv or countcrnoint. in the modern 
acceptation of the words, were aitocctnpr unknown. The 
historian Strabo shows us mat Lireen innuence extended to 
India, and also thai GreeK musicians 01 a certain school 
attributed the greater part 01 the science 01 music to India, 
a statement which is deserving 01 attention. And even now 
most of the old GreeK mooes are represented in the Indian 
system. And in the aosence 01 evidence conclusary of 
direct musical commutucation between ancient India and 
Greece, all this tenas to point to a musical .svstcm of some 
old-world civilization, unknown lo us, Ironi wliicli botli the 
Indian and Greek scaies (and consequently tJie European) 
have independently been developed. Whether this common 
origin may be looked for in Egypt or Ass3Tia, or, more 
probably, in the music of nations of an age stm more remote, 
must remain uncertain. SufBce it to say that, althoi^^ no 

* "The MniEc and Mnifcal Instmnatti at Soolfaeni India and tbe 
Deccan." (London : Norello, Ewer tc Co., iBgx.) 

Notti on Indian Mmsic. 49 

point to a common origin. It seems that the Indian scale 
iutervais should rather be understood as they are explained 

composed of 4, 3, find 2 s'rutis respectively. And with this 
conception o£ iutervais, ioc the }-ioiie is still undoubtedly 
approved of in the East, a division of the octave Into 34 
tqual parts becomes impossible. For as it was esseDtial to 
secure an approximately perfect fourth with g s'rutis, and 
a fifth with 13, the divinoii of &e octave by ai was the 
only one available. The error in the fourth of 9 equal 
s'rutis of a 22 division is only ^ a comma, in melody hardly 
noticeable; but the error in a 21 or 23 division could 
hardly be tolerated. The s'rutis thus heing a little wider 
than exactly equal quarter tones (54-jV cents instead of 50). 
the Indian series in most respects come near the intervals of 
our_?«j( intonation scales. Still the resemblance is accidental, 
since the foundation is diflcrenl. 

Again it must be remembered that the strings of all Indian 
instruments are very thin in proporlion to their length ; the 
slightest pressure upon the fret causing a variation in the 
pitch. Consequently Indian fretted stringed instruments, 
as compared with those of Europe, are less confined in their 
intonation, and are capable of producing an infinity of 
delicate grace by modification of pitch, that cannot ade- 
quately be expressed in any notation. The nearest approach 
to these Indian graces is found in the Bebung or Vibrato, 
which in the clavicliord alone of keyid instruments is 
capable of being produced. In stringed instruments it is of 
course produced by a rocking motion of the finger without 
rai»ng it from the strings. 

The Hindu scale, then, having become in practice one of 
half-tones, the octave is divided into twelve semitones ; the 
seven notes of the scale are known as Sliadja, Rishaba, 
Ghandh&ra, Madhyama, Pan ch a ma, Dhaivata, NishSda. 
Shortened for purposes of solmization into Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, 
Pa, Dha, Ni. 

By the following diagram the scales may be more readily 
understood. From the twelve semitones are formed seventy- 
two diflbrent modes or scales. The tonic and. fifth are 
common to all. Thirty-six have the perfect fourth and 
thirty-six the augmented fourth. 

As may be seen by the diagram, although every scale or 
mode is sung to the syllables Sa, Ri, Ga, &c., the intervals 
implied by the syllables vary in the different scales. 

The dots placed in the columns should be read from left 
to right and sigiiify the syllables Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha; 
Ni, already mentioned. It will be observed that the scales 
are formed in sets of ^x, the lower tctrachord being common 
to each set so constituted. 

Noles on Indian Music. 



VaklmlabMnis . 
Ch jdiravaka 

Haialmmbari . . 

, HEmkambBn . . 

YSgaprfi- .. 
GasgAiabhiulni. . 

Sllanaga . . 




Holts on Indian Mnsif. 


HADO-vaBtntha . 


Although certain of their instruments possess a compass 
of nearly four octaves, yet practically three octaves, termed 
Stha^, OF Saptaka, only are taken into consideration. 

The Hindus have a system of notation which, although 
sufficient for their requirements, is rather complicated. It 
consists of an employment of the seven letters of the alphabet 
denoting the musical notes, the time value of the note being 
expressed by a system of dots and signs placed above and 
below. The notation cannot be said to be in general use, 
and it varies slightly according to the requirements of 
individuals. As there are many different languages in India, 
many of which are written ia different characters, to attempt 
anything like a detailed explanation of this notation to-night 
would be obviously impossible. However, snnic of the 
examples of Indian music that you will hoar will be played 
from this notation, and you can then form an idea of its 
capabilities. It is, in fact, a sort of tablatiire. and wr must 
bear in raiad that most of the early European notation, 
before the introduction of pneums, was probably of a some- 
what similar construction. 

Time is con»dered under the name of Tftla. There are 
seven distinct varieties of TUe^ each of which is again sub- 

Notes on Indian Music. 

Cundha, Sankima. 

5255 9299 

525 9^9 

52 92 

512 9J2 

522 922 

5522 992a 

5 9 

divided into five. Hence there are tbirly-five distin. 
measures. The table beloiv will explain tins ; the figur. 
singly denote the number of equal beats — tr.t rirrrn:? fallir 
upon the first— in a bar. In Northern IniliLi die names 
these Tains may vary slightly, but their construction 
identical. The employment of mixed times and the cons 
quent irregular rhythm is the most noticeable feature : — 
Nahb op Sdb-divibiom of TSla> 

^ / DttRtlVA ... 4244. 3233 7277 

T« Matsya ... 424 323 727 
^ RiSpAKA ... 42 32 72 

[In regarding this table, I must again remind you that the 
numbers are time-beats and are not sums.] 

There being practically no harmony in Hindu music, as 
considered from a Western point of view, clefs are not 
employed. The key-note is considered to be Sa, and is, in 
fact, the exact equivalent of the movable Do of the Tonic 
Sol-fa system, being taken of any pitch as the performer may 

Here it may be permitted to introduce what constitutes 
the foundation of all Indian music— vi:-., the employment of 
a given number of melody types, which are known as IJSgas. 
Now it has been urged that Indian music is unexprcssive. 
That this is not so is shown by the meaning of the word 
raga. It is literally "that which creates passion," and each 
rSga is allied to some special passion or emotion. A r&ga 
may be defined briefly as " a melody type founded upon 
certain intervals of a scale or mode," since it is a melodic 
extension of these said intervals according lo certain well- 
defined rules. All the notes of this scale may or may cot 
be employed, and differences of succession (often minute), 
peculiar graces, and varied expression serve to display thie 
special characteristics of each rSga. Hence, there may be 
many rSgas in each scale, and, founded upon these r&gas, 
there may be many difierent melodies ; each melody, while 
being distinct, yet employs the same rules of succession, 
graces, and occasional emphasis upon or recurrence of 
certain notes, according to the rules of the laga in which it 
is composed. As these rules are exceedingly technical and 
comphcated our time does not allow of further details. A 
knowledge of the application of these rules is known as the 

Murchana," and is invariably taught orally. The muichana. 

Nolts on Indian Music. 


then may be said to represent the style of the rSga, and 
when a song or instrumental composition is said " Co be in a 
certain r&ga," it means that it employs the same scale and 
. melody type, and, in fact, in every way illustrates the 
character and style of that i^^ga. 

It is curious to note that the Indian musician is taught 
traditionally, that certain rilgas are appropriate to .certain 
hours of the day and night, and in educated Indian circles it 
is even now thought rather a display of ignorance to ask for 
any rftga out of its proper hour. The custom is an ancient 
one and is mentioned in the Sanskrit authorities. 

Out of the seventy-two different scales which have akeady 
been noticed, some are more popular than others. These, in 
Southern India, are the following:^ 

MdyamSlavagaula ... c' b a[> g f e dfr c 
Nata-Bhairavi ... c' b> a^ g f ef d c 
Kirahflraprya... ... c' bl' a g f eb d c 

Hanumatfidi c' bb at* g f eb dt* c 

Chalan&ta c' b 

K&mavftrdam... c' b 

M&tsyaltaliftni c' b 

jaiavarftli c< b g f| ^ d^ 

a g f e d c 
a* g f e dt c 

aji g a e c 

and it may be interesting to note that the Greek chromatic 
genus is very similar to, although not exactly, the scale 
M&yam&lavagaula, in which all eUmtntary txtreistt are 
invariably taught. This scale is universally popular through- 
out the East; and M. BonTgault-Ducoudray in his work 
upon Eastern music (" Trente milodies populaiieB da Grtce. 
■it d'Orient," Paris, 1S76) gives it the name of " Chromatique 

e also represented— viz. : 

Dorian mode by Hanumatodi. 

Phrygian „ „ K^rahSraprya. 

Lydian „ „ D£hra-S'ankSrabh&ma. 

Hypo>Lydiaii „ „ M&t^akali&ni. 

' Ionian „ „ Hftrikambd^. 

.^lian „ „ Nata-Bhaiiavi. 

There are at present .two distinct systems of music in use 
in India; they are known as the Ilimhislaiii and the 
Karniltik. The latter, which is practised chiefly in Southern 
India, may be called the national system ; the Hindustani 
shows traces of Arabian and Persian influence. The two 
systems differ, the Hindustani is perhaps the simpler, but 
there is yet a very, intimate connection between the two. 
The nomenclature of the various rigas, t&las, &,c., is notr the 


Noles on Indian Music, 

same, and, as a rule, professors of the Hindiistani systom are 
men of poor edMcalioii as compared with Kiiriiiilik musicians. 
To the student, however, tht i I 1 irr- 

the facts that in the Karnatik t ill r eJ 

in one raga ; and in the Hindustani the ciaplovmcnt of mixed 
r9gas is universal ; in the Karnatik much attention is paid to 
the /onn of ttie melodies ; in the Hindustani more attention 
is paid to minute difierences between the vanous t&gas. 
\l nave throughout this paper quoted the Kantitik system, 
unless otherwise specified.) 

There are very many kinds of musical compositions : 
perhaps the casieiit w;^y in v/nitji i tan preseni ciiem to your 
notice to-nif;ht is by means or this tabular form. It is, how- 
ever, necessary to slaie dial as tlie various compositions 
consist purely of melody, to the casual observer the dis- 
tinctions are often very subtle. la their composition these 
melodies are subjects to certain definite rules of form. 
Almost all consist of— (I.], a sort of btuden or refiain called 
Piilievi ; (II.), a short imitation of this burden called Ann- 
pdlievii (III.), a stanza or stanzas, usually an uneven 
number, called CharanSm. These follow each other usually 
in this order: No. 1., No. II., No. I., No. III., No. I., &c. 
(with no pause between the parts). 

In the Hindustani system No. 1. is called Asthiyi ; No. II., 
Antira; No. III., Abhiig. 

The rhythm of the Pallevi and Anu-pallcvi is gcnoTally 
more marked and rtgular than that of llit Charanani, which 
abound in most ingenious imitation, and ate interspersed 
with such a quantity of " graces " that to follow them 
intelligently requires a considerable theoretical knowledge of 
, Indian mnsic. 

And in fact, in listening to Indian music, it is well to 
remember that — 

(a) The melodies are short, lengthened by repetition and 

(13) They all resemble a roudo, the piece being concluded 
with the first strain (the pSUevi already explained) or, at all 
events^ with the first phrase (or even note) of the strain. 

(y) A phrase, or period (termed sangiii) is frequently 
repeated, with slight variations, almost ad libitmu. 

(S) Much liberty is allowed with respect to pauses, which 
may be' lengthened at wiU, provide^ the measure or lala 
(already explained) be not disturbed. 

kaenStik system. 

S&ralas Simple exercises. 

Geutuversis ... Simple exercises, but containing repeated 

II Indian Music. 


Alaak&tas ... Exercises upon the various t&laSi or 
Gttas Simple melodies. 

Prabhandas ... Very ^milar to gttas but divided into 
two parts aod often elaborated in 


Thftnas Exercises for the Vina, the tempi being 

\try rapid. 

Svirajotas ... Consisting of I. II, HI., the rhythm 
fluent, decisive, and containing little 
superfluous grace. Tempo rapid. 

Knithis Sacred hymns, consisting of I. 11. 111., 

usually > 

Kfrthanas ... Sacred hymns. Very similar to Kruthis, 
but simpler. Consisting of I. II. III., 
usually composed in the more 
popular rugas. Tempo Andante. 
Vemasis, or Elaborate songs, i^omcwh^t like Svara- 

Thftna-vemams jotaii. CoiALiinint! a f.'ood deal of 
grace, and eoiisisurjg of I. II. III., 
but mi."ied with difiiculi passages for 
solmizatioti, usually in the more 
difficult rftgas, and the time pur- 
posely made as "catchy "as possible. 
Tempo very rapid. 
S'ankha.Vernams Similar to Vemams, but tempo less 
rapid. Sung chiefly at Nautches. 

Javadis Love songs. Sung much at Nautches, 

and, chiefly, " drawing - room " 
ballads.* Consisting of I. II. III. 
Tempo varying, but not too slow. 

Pathams Very similar to javadis. Tempo rather 

slower ; in performance cadences 
and graces frequently improvised, 
and melody rejoined at will of singer. 

La van is ... 
Mangala ... 

Usually ir 

ixed ti 

Dirges and allegorical chants. Varying 

Folk-Songs. Varying In form. 
Songs of Salutation." Used universally 
at the conclusion of all musical per- 
formances. Consisting of 1., and 
always in R&gas Surati or Sau- 

jmiidii miut not be coofcaaded with aong* ot tha nine Dime 

Digiiized by Google 

Notii on Indian Music. 

A sort of fantasia (somewhat akin to the 
Welsh Peniiiion) upon a given sub- 
ject ; the subject being termed 
" avatar." Consists of three move- 
ments; the ist usually slow, the 
snd rather quicker, and the 3rd very 
quick. Occasionally there are two 
subjects interwoven, but distinct. 

or " Garland " of r&gas. Consists of I. 
and III., each III. being composed 
in a different rfiga. The whole 
composition is very similar to the 
Faiievi above mentioned. 

... Simple cxe: 

e elaborate. 
Consisting of 1. II. III. Sometimes 
only of I. and III., and in some 
respects resembling the KarnSfik 
javadis. Contain elaborate cadences, 
are in various tilas, but usually the 
most aimcuit, and the rhythm is 
purposely made as catchy as poasible. 
Tappos are perhaps the most elegamt 
of any Hindustani son^ 

Cons{stof 1. II., usually in triple time; 
are simple and contain iittle grace; 
usually love songs. 

Somewhat resemble Dhrupads ; conast 
of I. II. III., a fourth strain being 
sometimes added ; are sung at the 
time of the " Holi " festival. 

Con^st of I. II.; are in easy tdlas 
(usually of 3, 4, or 7) ; are easy to 
sing ; heard chiefly at the Dasseta 
or Naurfkthri festivals. 

Consist of I. II. III. ; are always in even 
time (4), and ate intended chiefly for 
professional musician'; lo show thwr 
proficiency 111 execution, by impro- 
vising embellishments and cadenzas, 
the tila remaining regular through- 


Notes OH Indian Music. 


Songs of Persian origin; chiefly-Iove 

songs ; consist of 1. 111. 
Soags consistiiig of 1. ; for the most part 
simple and easy to sing ; hence very 

Conaa**of*'l. II. III. (III. usually sub- 
divided into two parts). The tJda is 
usually very slow, the theme being 
varied and embellished accordiag to 
the proficiency of the player. To 
understand or appreciate these songs 
requires a considerable knowledge of 
Indian music, They are usually of 
considerable length. 

The highest form of instrumental music is without doubt 
the performance of rA^a as a solo; and this in both the 
HinduBtani and Kam&tik system is die same. 

Two movements are usually considered, called Al&pa and 
Madhy a m akflla . 

The Al£ipa is a sort of rhapsody, abounding ia expressive 
grace and embellishments of all Kinds, constructed SO as to 
display in a prominent manner the Special characteristics of 
the r&ga in which it is composed. The music is not confined 
in its rhythm, indeed is often absolutely timeless, the style 
and pace being at the player's taMcy, An alftpa is by&r the 
niost beautiful component of Indian music, but skilled 
performers are rare,-and Europeans seldom hear music of 

The Maiihyamakala, a second movement, is in construction 
sj'ni metrical, antl it is, in fact, a development of thilnas 
mentioned previously. The rhythm is marked and regular 
throughout. A second movement is sometimes added to the 
madhyamakala, identical as regards form, but tne lempo is 

Having then thus sketched the secular music of India, 
there yet remains what is probably the most ancient of all : 
I refer to the sacred chants of the Sama- Veda, which contain, 
in fact, the " incantamcnla " of ancient India. The notation 
of these chants lias been little studied, probably the only 
Europeans who have interested themselves in them are Dr. 
Hang* and Dr. A. C. Bumell,+ both of whom are now dead. 

■ Vidi ■■ Ueber das Wesin and der Wertli dea Wedlsehen aceeotes," in 
Transactions (AbhandlungeD) □{ the Bavarian Academy. xiiL Bd., ii Abih., 
T87S ; Issued separately, and Bold by G. Frani in Munich, also " uber die 
altindisdifl opfermuslk" ia Vierteljahruchiift fiir MiiBiliwiBsgDscbaft.'^ 
Leipzig. 1885. 

t VIdt "Hie' Aishevabrabmana" IBuiDell), Mangalote, 1876; slro 
■• Catalc«ae of a Collsctloa of Sanikrit MSS.'' (BanuU). Ft. i, Vedic HSS. 
(London: TrDbner, 1870.) 




.\„Us OH Indian Mask. 

In all the copiea of llie Sima-Veda there are certain signs, 
consisting ftir tlie most part of either letter or numbers, and 
written either ainve or below the text. These signs convey 
to the officiating Brahraan the music of the passage he 

In the Sfima-vedic chant we find that there are seven 
notes employed, but that there is nothing similar to R^ga, 
and thai the rhythm or time is, like plain chant, entirely 
subordinate to and dependent upon the words. Tlie notation 
varies exceedingly, ^nd, indeed, it appears impossible to find 
any two MSS. which agree precisely upon this point ; every 
copyist adding marks and signs of his own to assist him in 
his own chanting. 

In the MS. copies of the SSma-Veda two systoms of 
notation are employed ; the oldest contains several hundred 
various signs which not only represent the seven notes of the 
scale, but also all possible combinations of them, so that eacli 
division of a Sima verse has, as a rule, only one musical note 
which is insetted after the first syllable of the division. Of 
this exceedingly complicated— and therefore almost useless 
for practical purposes— system, a work, entitled "Svarapari- 
bhasha gives a copious explanation. 

As time passed doubtless tiie want of some notation 
equally expressive, but adapted to practical purposes, 
became more evident, and in Northern India the use of 
numerals instead of letters became customary. This prac- 
tice appears to have been introduce^ into Tanjore from 
Gujerat as late as the commencement of the present century. 
Be this as it may, it is certain that the method of using 

As in the ordiu^iry Indian music, the SAma-vedic notation 
makes use of seven notes ; tliey are, however, differently 
nameil, and the scale is reckoned as descending instead of 
ascending ; the first note being the fourth (or Madhyatna) 
instead of the first (or Shadja} of the usual scale, resembling 
the Greek jitTii— which was the keynote. 
These seven notes ate thus named : — 

(i) PrS-thama (or krushta), corresponding to Ma {=t} of 

the ordinary Indian scale, 
(a) Dvitiya, correspondii^ to Qa (=e) of the ordinary 
Indian scale. 

(3) Trit^a, corresponding to Bi (=d) of the ordinary 

Indian scale. 

(4) CatOrtha, corresponding to Sa (=c) of the ordinary 
Indian scale. 

(5) tlandra. corresponding to Ni (^b) of the ordinary 
Indian scale. 

Sm Dr. Bumell's Cotak^ae referred to in Dots f previouily. 

Digiiized by Google 

Notts on Indian Utuk. 59 

(6) Atiavirya, corresponding to Dha (="a) of the ordinary 

Indian scale. 

(7) ParisvSrya, corresponding to Pa (=g) of the ordinary 
Indian scale. 

In addition to these seven no 
are seven others, iinown as ! 
which express recurring group 
tions ; these compound notes a: 

as prakrili, there 
compound notes, 
1 other modiflca- 

Vinato ... 

Samprasflrana . 

which a 

syllable and ends with the second 
svata : marked hy the figure ■' S," 
tir, sometimes, by the sylhihlo " pre." 
consisting of llic first tlirec notes, 
a "portamento" either up, marked^, 
or down, marked V> including ail 
notes between those marked. 
Con^s of li- and a;i and marked "Vi" 


a melodic embellishment consisting of 


a melodic embellishment consisting of 

a repetition o£ the note with a short "a," 
and marked in the Bibliotheca 
Indica edition of the Sama Veda 
by the figure 7. 
Notes are also sometimes specially emphasised and styled 
Vridda, but these notes are not marked ; prolonged notes, 
however, are styled I r^Aa, and are marked by the letter 
" r," or, in Southern Indian MSS., by " o." When a group 
of notes occurs, and there is an additional number over each, 
these upper numbers give the length in "mStrq."! The bar 
01 division (parvan) marks the notes to be sung with one 
breath ; the last note of each " parvan " is always " vriddha." 
The chant is continuous, and the time value of the notes 
depends entirely upon the words. 

This explanation, although far from complete, will in a 
great measure enable anyone to decipher the notation of 
Uiese chants as written in the Bibliotheca Indica edition of 

t These figures refer lo ibe se 

B purelj'modei^, and evidently 
al musical meaniiiK; pralcriti, 
hicb coniain their nil GOmpIe- 
s undergoDe change a* ragudi 

^notes, fnWmw, iviHya, Ac. 

il takes to pmnouncs a short 

DigiiLzefl b/ Google 


NoUs on Indian Ml 

the Sama-Vcda, But still there are various discrepancies 
which conliniiallj' puzzle the enquirer. ! therefore do not 
attempt to produce a specimen of this chant in notation ; 
but should I ever return to India I hope to be able to throw 
more light upon the subject. 

During the singing of these chants all these notes are made 
apparent by certain gestures, or distinct movements of the 
right hand. This hand is held horizontally, the fingers being 
close to each other, and the palm upwards. The first note 
is shown by waving the thumb ; the second by striking the 
second joint of the fore-finger ; the third and fourth by 
Btrildiig the second and third fingers in the same way ; the 
fifth by striking the little finger once; the sixth and seventh 
by striking the little finger twice and thrice respectively ; the 
thumb being employed in all cases to strike with. The 
seven compound notes are also shown by sweeping the tips 
of the fingers with the thumb and by bending certam fingers 
on to the thumb. 

We now pass to the consideration of the musical instru- 
ments. The people of India have always been conservative 
in their taattb, and thii is shown in a marked degree by the 
little chanjjc ihni Uicir iiistruinents have undergone during 
the last two ihoiibaiid years. This length of time, I am 
aware, is great, but it appears to be fully warranted, both by 
the descriptions contained in the Sanskrit treatises, and 
even more t>y other references found in certain PAli works, to 
which, bdng of Buddhist authorship, it is an easier matter 
to assign dates which are tolerably accurate. Again, old 
sculptures and paintincrs found in India go still farther to 
show the great anuumlv oi nicsi' iiistriimenls. I might 
mention especially the Buddhist sculptures of Amravati and 
of Sanchi ; I mention these because certain of them have 
been brought to England and are now to be found on the 
staircase at the British Museum. 

Mudcal instruments have m India from vei; early times 
been classed in almost the same manner that we have been 
accustomed to class them m Europe. The native classifi- 
cation is as follows ; — 

I. Tatra Yantra Or stringed mstruments. 

II. Shushtra Yantra Instruments of pcrcuEsion, not being 

III. Ghana Yantra Instruments of percussion, beittg 

covered with skin or leather, su^ 
as drums, tabors, &c. 

IV. Aouddha Yantra Wind instruments. 

. . Of Indian stringed instruments, those played with a bow 
are conddered as vulgar, and are not, therefore, in use among 

:h as cymbals or gongs, 


Digiiizefl b/ Google 


n Irdiait Mai 



s ot repute. Pizzicato strir 
the contrary, esteemed very highly, mm u 
for purposes of melody, to a gteai iiL'i^ 
Their chief peculiarities arc; r. T 
2. The elasticity of, and thinness of tt 
to their length, thus allowing for VLina 
purposes af grace or espression ; 3. i m: n 
strings; 4. The great length of tht 

absence of all shifts; ^. The use, in cerl ^ 

moveable frets; 6. Their tuning, wliicn (except as regards 
the sympathetic strings) employs onlv iiiu ionic. lonrLii. anu 
fifth, or their respective octaves; 7. 1 lie aipsi;u<:i: in iiiiv 
fixed standard of pitch, which applies i.roiiur:iiiv in an inumii 
music ; 8. The emplo)™ent, when necessary. 01 the Capo- 
tasto. Another peculiarity is the occasional use 01 a small 
bead, running upon the strings between the bndge and tail 
l^ece, and which is used to adjust small errors in tuning (by 
a pressure applied horizontally towards the tail-inece). 

Of stringed instruments the most important is the Vina. 
It is strung with seven strings of wire, four of which pass 
over the frets, three are placed at the side. It is fretted 
semitonically, and is played either with plectra or the finger 
nails (which are purposely allowed to grow long) ; the side 
strings are struck by the little finger moved upwards, the 
other strings are struck by a downward motion of ihc first 
and second fingers. The tone of the Vina, althongh rather thin, 
is curiously soft and plaintive, and tlic peculiarity of the 
iment renders it capable of the greatest expression, 
s tuned in one of the three following ways : — 

There is another form of Vina, which is used chiefly in 
Northern India. It also is represented in tbe plales. It is 
called also the Bin, and it differs slightly in its tuning, as 
well as in the tone, which is not usually so good as that of 
the Vina of the South, just described. 

It is tuned thus; — 

Notts OH Indian Music. 

The most popular stringed instrument is, next to the Vina, 
the Sitir or Sfindari, the invention of which has been 
ascribed to the Persian musician, Amit Khusru, of Delhi, in 
tho twelfth century of our era. The instrument, however, 
is of Sanskrit origin. The neck of this instrument is about 
three inches wide, and the frets (sixteen or eighteen in 
number) are moveable and can be adjusted to the intervals 
of the mode required. Common custom has five different 
methods of such adjustments (known as thflts). Sitftis have 
from three to seven strings, and are tuned to the tonic fifth 
(and their respective octaves), and the first string or 
Chanterelle invariably to the fourth. 

Sitars are constructed of various sizes and shapes. The 
bodies are formed usually of gourd, but llie common teak 
wood of the country is also employed; large cocoanuts, and 
sometimes large conch shells, and even ostrich eggs, are 
used for the same purpose. Sitirs, inwluch sympathetic 
strings are found, are known as " Taniffe," and are common 

A beautiful variety of the sililr, known as Mobur or Tins, 
the body of which is shaped to resemble i peacock, is not 
uncommon. An instrument, shaped somewhat like a sitAr, 
but having eight strings, called the Sur-S'ringSra, or love- 
viol, is occasionally met with. 

The common accompaniment to vocal music is the 
Tamburi. in shape a kind of Vina or Sitar, with four strings 
only, and without frets, and tuned to the tonic and dominant. 
Sm^ pieces of silk placed under the strings at the bridge 
give a slightly buzzing tone to the instrument. The pitch 
of the Tamburi is altered as required by means of a species 
of Capotasto. 

A species of Dulcimer, caLed Svaramiindala, is also 
occasionally to be met with. It is played with plectra, and 
a sort of moveable nut, shaped like a quoit and held in the 
left hand, is applied to the strinRS whilst viliratiiijj io produce 
varied expression or grace. This peciitiarily is found also 
in the Egyptian Quanun, and similar instruments. 

Of stringed instruments played with a bow there are 
comparatively few varieties. 

The Siirungi is most commonly met with, and is strung 
usually with three strings of thick gut. Occasionally a 
fourth string of wire is added, and there are from twelve to 
fifteen sympathetic strings of wire. In stopping the strings 
the fingers are usually pressed against the side, 'and the 
string is never held down upon the finger-board. 

Other bowed instruments are the Sarinda, the Sardde, 
and Chik&ia. The T&Qs, already mentioned, is sometimes 
played with a bow. 

B^re quitting the subject of stringed instTuments mention 

Notes on Indian Music. 


shouid be made ol the Rabftb, which is used principally in 
the FiinjM>, and among Mussulman musicians. It is strung 
with three strings of gut and one of brass. The three gut 
strings are sometimes doubled (as in' the Mandoline), 
Sympathetic strings of wke are usually found, and there arc 
four or five frets of cat-gut. The rabob, in some form or 
other, appears to be common in Mohanunedan countries, 
and' is probably of Arabian origin. In tone it somewhat 
lesenibles a buijo, the belly being of parchment. It is 
usually played with a wooden plectrum, but occasionidly 
with a bow like a Sirungi. 

Of percussion instruments the use of cymbals and castanets 
is universal. Cymbals are of various sizes, but those of from 
two to three iuclies in diameter, called Tfda or Jaira, are the 
most popular ; the first-named are hollow like cups, the 
latter are shaped like diminutive Turkish cymbals. These 
small cymbals are decidedly peculiar to Indian music, and 
are played to produce a faint clashing or even ringing sound, 
and with a dexterity that amazes one. They are made of 
bell-metal, and (as compared with Turkish cymbals) are of 
considerable thickness in proportion to their small diameter. 
Larger cymbals, in tone more like the ordinary Turkish 
instruments of the name, and called " Jhanj," are sometimes 
found, Castanets, called " Chacra," or " Chiltika," are also 
used, and vary both in shape and size. 

Of drums, the most common are the M'ridang and the 
Tabla. The M'ridatii;, considered to be the invention of the 
god S'iva, is a very favourite instrument. Its chief pecu- 
liarity consists in that it is made with two heads, of unequal 
size, and tuned to the tonic and dominant by means of smaU 
wedges placed between the shell and the braces. The centre 
of the smaller head is coated with a composition of resin 
and wax which gives the tone a sharp almost ringing timbre. 
The Tabla, the tone of which is very similar to the M'ridacg, 
consists of two small kettle drums, of wood or copper (one 
of each is often used), tuned to the tonic and dominant ; 
such drums are used in Deccan and farther North, in prefer- 
ence to the M'ridang. 

Of other drums there are the Nigara.or Bh£ri, large kettle 
drums; the Naqqerah, somewhat smaJler kettle drums; 
the Dhol, the Dholak, the Dholki, and Dak, cylindrical 
drums used by street bands and country people. Also the 
Khanjeri or ordinary tambourine ; the Dulfe, Daera. and 
ThambathS, all varieties of the tambourine family, differing 
chiefly in size. 

Wind instruments in India are looked upon as of secondary 
importance, probably from the fact that they are forbidden 
by the Shftstras to Brahmins. Consequently wind instrument 
[uayers are Mahommedans or Hindus of low* caste. , The 

Nolcs on Indian Musk. 

antiquity of these instruments, however, is undisputed, and 
certain of them, notably the flute and the shell trumpet, are 
considered the especial attributes of the gods. 

Of instruments of the flute species, the most important is 
the Pillagovi, or Murali, a transverse flute of simple con- 
struction traditionally ascribed to the invention of the god 
Krishna, who is usually represented as holding or playing 
upon it. The Nay, a flute of the same construction, but 
having ike emboncknre at the end (and consequently wanting 
the lateral mouth-hole of the Pillagovi). is also found. Both 
these flutes are soft and sweet, the latter especially so. The 
Algoa, a fltlte-a-bec, sounded by means of a whistle, is also 
used ; and in the Punjab and Upper India such instruments 
are played in pairs like the ancient Tibi^ pares. 

Of reed instruments the principal are the Nigasira (or 
Surnai) and the Muka-Vina. These have various names in 
different parts of the country, and their use is eveiji where 
common. The NilgasSra is a sort'of oboeof rude construc- 
tion, having a conical bore, and pierced with a certain 
number of finger-holes ; these are roughly tuned by pieces of 
-wax affixed. The Muka-Vina is similar to the Nagasara, 
but smaller. These pipes are usually provided with spare 
reeds and an ivory bodkin for their manipulation. A third 
pipe, known as S'ruti, tuned to the tonic or dominant, is the 
usual companion to these instruments, and acts as a drone- 
bass. These pipes, therefore, produce much the same effect 
as bagpipes, and ate, in fact, the regular out-of-door instru- 
nienls of Indian music. In tone, although harsh and shrill, 
they have a sort of wild beauty when heard at a distance 
that is curiously characteristic of the country. 

There is also the Moshaq. a bagpipe with chanter, fotmd 
in the Punjab and Afghanistan, and in Southern India a 
bagpipe called S'ruti or Druthi. containing a single drone, 
is common enough. In genttal use. too, is the Piingi, or 
Jinagovi, a pipe used by snake charmers, and formed of a 
gourd in which two reed pipps are inserted, one being 
-pierced with finger-holes, the other being a drone. 

Of instruments of the trumpet kind there ate the S'anldiu, 
a shell trumpet, found in every temple and sounded doring 
religious tites and processions ; the Kurna — otherwise called 
BQruga or Bankhu — a large hoarse- sounding instrument of 
rude construction, and the especial attribute of piersons of 
high rank ; the Tuturi, or Tun, a trumpet with one turn and 
of a higher pitch than the Klirna ; and the Nafari. or Nefer, 
a small- bored straight trumpet. 

There is also the Seringa, or S'ing (called, in Southern 
India, Kahalay, or Kombu), a large curved metal horn, some- 
what like the old Roman Buccina in shape, with a taperit^ 
bore. The' use of the S'riaga is common both amnig 

Notts on Indian Music. 


Hindus and Uahamniednns, a.nd from Its peculiar construc- 
tion its compass can be extended, liy good players, upwards as 
ias as the twelfth proper tont. This, of course, varies with 
the instrument used. ;ind iis Ihey are iiivariaiily of tlic rudest 
workmanship, it is obviously impossible to speak w-ith any 
gertftinty as to their compass. Indeed the most elementary 
principles o£ acoustics as regards wind instruments appears 
unknown in India. As wind instruments are despised by 
educated Indian musicians the reason is not bx to seek.- 
The most noticeable point appears to be that the use of the 
cup-shaped mouthpiece has existed in India from remote 

Such, then, is a rapid sketch of Indian music. The reading 
of this paper has, I fear, occupied much valuable time, and 
I must not trespass longer upon your patience. If, however, 
1 have been able, by this paper, to show that the much- 
despised Indian music is really an Art, and an intricate and 
dilHcult Art, worthy of Serious study and research, I shall 
feel more than amply repaid. 


During the reading of this paper, cxaniplr .; nf ch<; viirious 
Indian compositions were played in a masterly manner upon 
the Vina by Mr. Alaudin Maulabuksh Pathan, at present a 
student of the Royal Academy of Music, and a son of 
" Professor " Maulabuksh, chief musician to H.H. the 
Gaeckwar of Baroda ; this gentleman is probably the only 
instance of an Indian musician studying music seriously at 
a European Institution. 

In order to enable those present to follow more readily the 
examples played, the form and the rhythm were explained 
previous to the performance of each : the peculiarities of the 
rSgas employed were pointed out, and the time was beaten 
previous to the commencement of each melody. 

The various Indian instruments were explained by means 
of a series of plates, showing fifty-one different specimens, 
chiefly chromo-lithographic reproductions of water-colour 
drawings by Mr. William Gibb, and published in Captain 
Day's work re&rred to in footnote, page 48, of this paper. 

Mr. Banister. — There is one thing that we all claim for 
ourselves as musicians and that is thoroughness, and we can 
thank Captain Day very much indeed for the thoroughness 
with which he has treated the subject. 

Slie vote of thanks was passed unanimously.) 
r. SouTHGATB. — This has been one of the roost interesting 


Notts on Indian Music. 

papers we have heard delLvered. Captain Day has clearly 
defined the Kagas. As regards the scales, I think it is 
entirely a m^itter of education. If uc had been iiorn lo them 
wc Fihniilii havK been perfectly satisfied with their modes. It 
weheard some of the music of, say, eight hundred or a thousand 

Ssars ago, we should think it was very harsh ; but if we had 
ved then we should not have thought so. I think that there 
is something in Indian rooBit^ and as musidans we should 
take more interest in it, even if at first our ears do not take 
to it. 

Mr. Blaikley. — One or two points occurred to me whilst 
hearing Captain Day's interesting paper. It appears that these 
Indian scales are in their origin distinctly melodic. Notwith- 
standing this, it is a noticealile point, tliat whether we take 
the scale as one of twenty two degrees to the octave in equal 
temperament, or the scale as used in actual practice, some of 
the cliicf intervals agree mora dosely with our diatonic scale 
in just intonation than theintervalsobtainedbymeans'of our 
equal temperament of twelve semitones. The strangeness of 
the impression produced upon our ears would appear therefore 
to be due not altogether to tlie actual intervals used, but in 
great measure to their use in ways to which we are 
unaccustomed, and the question arises whether with custom 
we should not grow to forget that str^ingencss which is at first 
felt when listening to this music, and appreciate it at its true 
value. Another point suggested by the paper is the use of the 
eleventh note of the natural harmonic scale (the trumpet / 
oi/jjf) ; one of the Indian notes written down by Captain Day is 
exceedingly close to this, and is quite distinct from the note 
corresponding to our perfect fourth. The derivation of these 
two notes from a tube such as a trumpet and from the 
sub-divisions of a stretched string respectively, and their 
relationship to our diatonic scale has some interest. 

Mr. Prout.— Mr. Patlian, who is studying at the Royal 
Academy of Music, has shown me several melodies and played 
them on the pianoforte. If we take melodies constructed on 
the scale of twenty-two notes and try to play them on our 
keyed instruments we cannot realise them. I found several 
of these scales Bzceedingly interesting, and I have tried' 
whether the times were capable of being harmonized. One 
which contained two augmented seconds produced a very 
curious effect. The Oriental scales are so distinctly melodic 
rather than harmonic that I Uiink it impossible to apply to 
them our Western system of harmony. 

E. PROUT, Esg„ B.A., Lohd.. Vice- Prbsi dent. 
In the Chair. 


Bv Walteh Wvatt. 

distinguished a bouv as irn; a 
With a deep seiisti vi liil'. 
coofeis upoD me. i can ani\ 
feeling of great diffidence, j 
my sugg^Eed system may 
unworthy of consideration. 

While the fact that there 
harmony, many or im-m uk 
treatment, cantioi lie rriiiiis; 
explanations to bo toiiiki m i 
chords with wliicii inoiiorn i 
inadequate, or, in m.inv iiisin: 

By chromatic 
taining a note or 
while being in thi 

do I 

L their 


>iir iviiii;ii ;iucii a privilege 
iiroacii mi! subject with a 
so. however, trusting that 
: prove to be altogether 

) scarcity of text-books of 
rii anil exiiaustive in their 

I i.s i![iii:ii]v true that the 
lor iiiaiiv of the chromatic 

; aiKJuniis. are either quite 

siiiiiiiv inose chords con- 
Tiiii (iiaionic scale, which, 
c of other keys, 

II iiic context appear to 

laterially disturb the tonality. 

In dealing with the subject of Chromatic Harmony, the 
question naturally arises— How are we to decide whether an 
accidental is purely chromatic in the primary key or diatonic 
in a new one ? In other words, by what means are we to 
discover whether a modulation is established or not ? 

This is a point upon which no definite invariable rule can 
be laid down, because in many cases the impression produced 

Digilized Dy Google 

63 A Si'sgisted Sjslciii of Chromatic Harmony. 

varies with diflerent individuals. Indeed, the source of some 
of the most charming effects in music may be traced to that 
temporary ambiguity of tonality which gives rise to these 
varying impressions. 

As a general rule, however, a modulation cannot be said 
to be established until wc are conscious that the sense of 
finality and repose which characterises the tonic has been 
transfeired to another note. 

The distinction between modulation and chromatic har* 
mony is a subject upon whicli great diversity of opinion 

Theorists may be said to be divided into two distinct 
schools. One school teaches that by the mere introduction 
of the dominant discord of a new key, we modulate into that 
key ; and the otlier, while recognising the possibility of a 
purely chromatic introduction of such chords, coafines them 
to the tonic, dominant, and supertonic roots. 

The term " root," I may explain, is employed throughout 
this paper in its general and broadest sense, ajt& is not to be 
confounded with " generator." 

The unsatisfactory nature of the theories held by these 
two schools for practical purposes, and thai diametrical 
opposition to one another, may be illustrated by applying 
them to the following extract : — 

This passage, being simply an effective harmonization of 
the diatonic scale ofF, will undoubtedly appeal to most 
minds in that key throughout. 

According to the first school, however, the chord at (a) 
can be explained only as the dominant of D minor, to which 
a modulation is said to be induced but not consummated. 

Now as the passage does not modulate to D minor the 
chord in question is evidently not employed in the capacity 
of a modulating chord, to D minor at any rate. Granted 
that it is identical with the dominant of D minor, so is the 
first chord in the extract identical with the dominant of Bj*, 
or subdominant of C; but if the passage is in F these 
explanations, being irrelevant, are obviously equally unsatis- 

Digilizefl Dy Google 

A Suggested System of Cliyoiiitilic Harmony. 69 

The second school, while regardiiii; zha whole passage 
in F, can only explain the chords (n and 6) as convenient 
notation for dominant and ionic minor n in [lis. Cu and 
F^t being the enharniomc equivalents for D? and GP 

To show the unsatisfactory nature of such a system — apart 
altogether from its perplexing nature for practical purposes 
■ — I neea only compare tno progreision iroiii mc ciiorii (i/) 
as it is written with that of its enhurmonic equivalent. As a 
minor ninth upon D its pru^rtssion Lo G is quite natural and 
regular ; en harmonic ally tliauge it to a Ionic discord, and the 
pi-oirression to llic Miptrtonlr- mn.-: r^itional. 

Thepi-oKr,'SKiouat(i)won:aMi (i! sL .Mglit .■ ppearto constitute 
a modulation to G minor, hut tiio iinnipdiatt introduction of 
the dominant discord most emphatically defines the key, so 
that the mental efiect of the whole passage is dearly that of 
P major. 

Consequently it is important to notice that even the intro- 
duction of a progression identical with the dominant discord 
of a new key, followed by its tonic, is not always sufficient 
in itself to establish a modulation. 

The system of chromatic harmony, wi-,;c!: :l ii; my rr;vilcKe 
to introduce to you to-night, seeks to show, upon a simple and 
clearly defined basis, to what extent ii is possible to employ 
in a purely chromatic capacity such chords, among others., 
as the two we have been considering : to give, for the 
purpose of analysis, a reasonable and practical explanation 
of them — (I.) in their relationship to the key which the context 
naturally suggests, and (II.) in the notation in which they 
are expressed. 

The basis is that of the hypothesis of a harmonic relation- 
ship between a major key and the keys of its tonic minor :ina 
relative minor, so far as might reasonably be suKL'esied bv tne 
existence of a perfecl analogy ljeiwiN>u iii.iiniiii iiiiu 

chromatic chords possible in tlie forn k i f 

two latter keys combined. 

The chief point of difference between this suggested 
system and the second school, to which 1 have referred. 
conGiEts in the connection, fbi the purpose of chromatic 
harmony, of the major key with its relative mmor. Yet such 
a connection undoubtedly seems to exist. 

A major key and its relative minor have related keys 
entirely in common ; the cliaract eristic modulating chords to 
these related keys arc, therefore, neci^=5arily identical in both 
modes. Now, inasmuch as we have seen that such cliaracter- 
istic chords may be employed in a purely chromatic capacity, 
the connection between the two modes for the purpose of 
chromatic harmony is obvious. 

This identity of the related keys of a major key and its 

70 A Suggested SjsUm of Chromatic Harmony. 

relative roinoi, and llit (itrfect reciprocal connection between 
them, may be clearly seen in tlie accompanying diagram — 

With these introductoiy remarks I will proceed to explain 
my system, which I may add is not one of hasty production, 
but Uie result of careful and thoughtful study, extending over 
a period of some years. 

Chhomatic Concords. 

In the minor key there are four chromatic concords, all of 
which are major. They occur upon fhe minor second, tonic, 
supertonic, and raised submedianl — 

Of these chords, doubtless that upon the raised submediant 
calls for special remark. 

It is introduced here more on account of its bearing upon 
the principle we are considering, and the further develap- 
ment of that principle, tlian its practical value as a concord. 

Theextreme nature of the major sixth of the minor key as a 
root will be more apparent as we proceed ; and while the 
employment of the conc:ord in question comes quite within 
the bounds of possibility, it may be taken as a genera! rule 
that the major sixtli of the minor key is undoubtedly best 
confined to supertonic harmony. 

By lakinj; all llie diatonic and chromatic concords in 
C minor and transposing them into A minor it will be seen, 
upon comparison, that they embrace the whole of the 
diatonic and chiomatic concords in C major. 

In the following diagram {Fig. s), illustrating this interest- 
ii^ point, crotchet heads are employed to indicate the roots 
of tliose concords which are best used in their first 

A Suggttled SyiUm of Chromatic HannoHy. 71 

Fig.4. DlATOXIC. Chrouatic. 

The above, taken coUectipely, constitute the whole of the 


In addition to illustrating the analogy t:<ii!ting between the 
concords of a major key and ils Iwo minor keys, the results 
produced present to lis two points of special interest. 

Firstly. — By selecting from tlie diagram all the major 
concords in C major, we obtain a major concord upon every 
note of what is usually termed the "harmonic" chromatic 

Fig.' 3. 

Not only is this so, but the chromatic scales produced hy the 
thirds and fifths of these chords arc those of E— the dominant 
of the relative minor, and G — the dominant of the tonic 
m^or and minor. 

Secondly.— By arran^ng these major concords in the 
order of roots progressing by fifths upwards, we obtain a 

72 A Siif^gtsicd System of Clmmalic Harmony, 

complete cycle of diatonic and chromatic major concords 
possible in C major — 

This cycle forms the foundation upon which the super- 
structure to be raised will consist of fundameulal discords 
and chords of the augmented sixth. 

I will take them in their natural order. 


Fundamental discords may be added to the first seven 
chords in the cyc\e-~i.e., upon those obtained by proceeding 
in fifths upwards from the tonic concord to that upon the 
raised subdominant. 

In C these would occur upon 

C, G, D, A, E, B, and Ff. 
or, in other words, upon every note of the dominant scale. 

It is interesting to notice this because, as will be shown 
presently, the dominant is the first complete scale in the 

Suggested System ofChromalie Harmouy. 73 
Chobds of thb Minor Sbvbnth. 
The following (Fig. 7) is a table of the fundamental 
discords of the minor seventh so obtained — 

Pig- ?■ 

In the minor key fundamental discords of the minor seventh 
are possible upon the first tour of these roots only — 

It is obviously impossible to proceed in fifths beyond this, 
because the next chord would be that upon Et), containing a 
note , enharmonic of the diatonic note A7. 

This arrangement of fimdameiital discords in their order 
of roots, progressing liy fifths upwards, presents to us two 
additional points of special interest - 

Firstly. — It is quite philosophical, as by it tlieir compara- 
tive degree of relationship to, and consequent usefulness in 
the key, vary in propoition to their proximity to the tonic. 
So that in each 1^ the major and minor modes the last chord 
in the table (in which three of its notes are chromatic] is 
theoreticaUy the most extreme, and, consequently, the most 
rarely employed. 

Secondly. — By such an arrangement a diagram may be 
construct^, showing that the four fundamental discords of 
the minor seventh in each of the tonic and relative minor 
keys, talcen collectively, constitute the whole of umilar 
discords in the major k^. 

Fig. 9. C Minor. A Minor. 

C Major. 

It should, however, be pointed out that the extreme 
fundamental discords upon the leading note and raised 
eubdominant of the major k«y, and upon the major sixth of 

74 <^ Suggiited System of Chromatic Harmony. 

the minor key, are far mote practicable, and consequently 
correspondingly more frequently employed as chords of the 

Fundamental Discords of the Ninth {Major and Minor). 

By adding a diatonic note a tliirJ above the minor seventh 
we obtain (i) in the major key. seven cliorils of the ninth, 
whereof four are major and three minor- 

Four mijor glhs. Thiee mintir glh». 

and (a) in the minor key, four chords, one major and three 

In both the major and minor keys (he ninth upon the tonic, 
it will be observed, is diatonically major. 

The chromatic minor form of this discord is, however, 
available in both modes — 

It has been shown that tlie diatonic concords of the two 
minor keys are available chromatically in the major key. 
Similarly the chords of the minor ninth in those keys are 
also available chromatically in the major key. 

Applying this principle we may obtain the following table 
of &ndamental discords of the major and minor ninth 
poswble in C major — 

Digiiized by Google 

A SnggesU-d Syilem I'f Chvomatk Harmony. 75 

And, moreover, if we now conibme in one diagrani the 
whole of the chords of the minor ninth ia C minor and A 
minor, the perfect analogy existing between the major key 
and its tonic and relative minors, upon which I have already 
enlarged, will be strikingly illustrated — 

Font major gths in C major. 

Four taajot glhs la C major. 

Foot minor gibs in Cminot. Four minor gths in A minor. 

Toidt Di™.Su[«nooic.,^j^' Tonic Dcu. Sopmoafc. 

Seven minor ijlbs in C major. 

For the sake of ohlaining a symmetrical diagram J have 
omitted the tonic major ninth in C minor and A minor. 
Th^ are, hcivcvcr, both common to the major Ii^, in which 
it will be 5ccn they form the first and fourth chords. 

The interesting and instructive nature of such a diagram 
can scarcely be over-estimated. 

Chords op the Eleventh and Thirteenth. 

I will now pass on to a brief consideration of the chords 
of the eleventh ami major .intl minor thirteenth. 

There are many theorists who deny the cuislenco of such 
chords, but ! only echo the words of a contemporary when I 
sav that cnnibinatiorr. <irc iin'loiibtcdiv sometimes written 
which Cannes be saiisfacioriiv explained upon any other 

It IS possible to aud an etevemii lo every fundamental 
discord of the major and minor mnlh. As. however, the 
eleventh is never chromatic, and in actual practice the 
chord, moreover, is confined chiefly to the dominant. I do 
not consider it necessary to dwell upon it here. Especially 

76 A Suggested System of Chromitlic Hiiniiony, 

as it necessarily forms part of the coniplcle chord of the 
thirteenth, which we are about to consider. 

The method of obtaining ail the possible chords of the 
thirteenth is, of course, exactly similar to thiit which has 
been ado^iled in tlie case of llie ninth and eleventh — viz., 
the addition of a diatonic note a third above the last 

fn the major key there are. therefore, seven such chords — 
one upon each of the seven difierent roots. - In the first three 
the tliitlecnth is diatonicaUy major, and in the remaining 

In the following illustration the crolclict lieads are intended 
to indicate the alternative majw and minor ninth — 

-g- T'S- ^ftS" 

In the minor key tiieti= are four such chords j the thirteenth 
being diatonically minor in each case — 

Like the chords of the minor ninth, the chords of the 
minor thirteenth in the minor key(Fig. i6) are available also 
ia the major key in addition to those chords in Fig, 15, 
where the thirteenth is a diatonic note. 

I will present them with their alternative major and minor 

It is obvious that a digram showing the analogy between 
the chords of the thirteenth in the major key and its two 
minor keys might easily be constnicted upon the same lines 
as Fig. 14. 

These apparently formidable diaerams and tables of 
chords, were it necessary to learn them, would doubtle^ 
militate against the success of the system. 

A Suggested System of Chromatic Harmony. 77 

The object of their introduction, however, has been simply 
to illustrate, as completely and clearly as possible, the basis of 
the system and the beautiful principles it embraces. 

Indeed their practical bearinK upon chords of the ninth, 
eleventh, and thirteenth might be expressed in three short 
and simple rules : — 

(I.) In the major Icey, the ninth and thirteenth, when 
major, are always diatonic, and when minor either 
diatonic or chromatically lowered. 
(II.) In the minor key all (imdamenlal dissonances, 
except the tonic minor ninth, are diatonic. 

(III.) The eleventh is always a diatonic note. 
Before quoting actual examples of fundamental discords it 
will be interesting to dwell for a moment upon the subject of 


Unquestionably the best and most natural progression of 
fundamental discards is that of roots rising a fourth. 

Taking, by .way of illustration, the chords of the minor 
seventh, it will be seen that all except that upon the raised 
subdommant (which, as we have already seen, ip thp most 
extreme) naturally resolve upon the six diatonic triads 
available in the key- 

Such progressions may undoubtedly indues modulation, 
and indeed a cursory glance at Fig. 18 will be sufficient to 
show that it might equally well be erapla;ycd to illustrate the 
best and simplest means of natural modulation. Inasmuch, 
however, as in each case the chord of resolution might be 
followed by chords highly characteristic of, and dearly 
defining the key, the impression of a modulation may be 
easily prevented. 

The question of tonality in such cases must always be 
one for contextual con^deration. 

In addition to the foregoing and many other obvious 
resolutions, chromatic fundamental discords upon all the 
seven loots may proceed at once dther to a dominant chord 

78 A Suggested System of ChrumalU Harmony. 

or a cadcntial J tonic chord — than which nothing more 
emphatically decides the tonality — 

Of these progressions, perhaps that of the mEdiant, whose 
third falls a chromatic semitone to the root of the dominant 
chord, is the least desirable. There is a feeling that G|, 
rising to A, would be more grateful, and hence, in actnal 
practice, we find that fundamental discords on the mediant, 
when employed chromatically, invariably proceed to the 
subdominant concord — a progression of remarkable sweet- 
ness and richness— 

The example in Dr. Hopkins's beauttfiil double Chant in 
C will doubtless be fomiliar to you all. 

Fundamental discords upon the leading note and raised 
subdominant are, as I have previously remarked, confined 
almost exclusively to chords of the minor ninth. In that 
form, as in Fig. 21, they usually proceed at once to tonic and 
dominant harmony respectively, the minor ninth becoming 
the root of the chord of resolution — 

I might enlarge to considerable extent upon the subject of 
prc^ression, but I think sufficient has been said to indicate 
Its general principles. 

There is one particular chord, however, upon which a 

A Suggested Sysltm of Chromatic HnrmoHy. 79 

brief explanation may not be altogether out of place. I refer 
lo the fundamental discord of the minor ninth upon the raised 
snbmediaot. of the minor key. 

Like that upon the r:iised siibdominant in the major key, 
Fig. ai (6), this extreme discord, when employed in a purely 
chromatic capacity, almost compulsorily, 1 might say, 
resolves upon dominant harmony — 

Sir John Slainer thus employs the chord with stirring 
effect in his " Story of the Cross, recently issued — 

In connection with this example, however, it is only just 
to point out that, after a reiterated G extending over two 
bars, the music proceeds in C major ; but, of course, it might 
equalljr well have continued in C minor. 

I quote the pnssage more particularly also, because it 
seems to strike at the " convenient notation " theory. 

Tlie school of harmony which limits fundamental discords 
to those upon the tonic, dominant, and supertonic can only 
explain the chord in question as convenient incorrect notation 
for its enharmonic equivalent, the tonic minor ninth (D^ 
enharmonically expressed as C|). 

As the number of signs In the case in point would be 
exactly the same in either notation there can be no question 
of convenience. 

Before proceeding to deal with chords of the Augmented 
Sixth it may be interesting at this stage lo quote one 
or two examples illustrating the theory we have been 

As the time at my disposal, however, renders it impossible 
for me to give examples of all the chords which 1 have shown 
to be theoretically pos^le, I shall confine them more 
particularly to those occurring upon extreme roots, or with 
which some special points of interest are connected. 


Suggested System of Chronialie Harmony. 

1 I I 

The whole of this passage, forniing the conclusion to a 
familiar anthem, is unquestionably in E7 major. The chord 
at X is, then, the first inversion of the chromatic ma^'or 
concord on the leading note (D), the doubled root proceeding 
in the treble to the seventh, and containing in the tenor a 
suspension, six to five. 

I have already pointed out that chromatic chords upon the 
leading note often resolve upon the tonic. The present is an 
instance of that progression. 

As examples of chords of the minor ninth upon the mediant 
and aubmediant maybe seen in Fig. i, 1 will pass on to 
that upon the leading note, of which I will give two — 

This exttact, which is undoubtedly in E major throughout, 
contains the chord in its first inversion, with the resolution 
upon the tonic chord to which I have already alluded. The 
example affords additional interest firom the appearance 
of the root proceeding to the seventh in the upper part. 

In the following example the chord occurs in its last 
inversion and proceeds to the dominant seventh — 

Fig. 26. "Callirhfie." J. F. BnilKiB. 

A Suggnled System of Chromatic Harmony. 8i 

The seventh from the root does not appear in the estract, 
but occurs in the voice part. 

My next quotation supplies an example of the minor ninth 
on its most extreme root— 4he raised subdominant— with its 
most usual progres^on to dominant harmony. 

"Nodohda." A. QoRina Tuohab. 

in or ninth) being 
ingenious piece of 

In this exlrnct fiindamcnUl discords upon no less than five 
out of the seven possible roots arc employed, and notwith- 
standing that regular resolution la adopted in every case, a 
modulation can nowhere be said to be established. 

Indeed, in the space of less than two bars {from (ej to the 
end) we have in the melody an almost perfect diatonic scale 
harmonised by means of the tonic cJiord and four difierent 
fundamental diacords. 

Digilizefl Dy Google 

82 A Suggested Sysicm of Chromatic 'Harmony. 

I will give a list of the chromatic chords contained in this 
interesting passage — 

(a) Added sixth with mmcw third. 
lb) Dominant seventh, 
(cj Tonic seventh. 

(i^ Subdominant chromatic minor concord. 

(«) Leading note minor ninth, root in treble going 

to the seventh. 
(/) Mediant minor ninth (root G). 
(g) Submediant minor ninth (root C). 
The works of Spohr, as might he expected, furnish some of 
the mostrem.atkableexamples of ingenuity in the employment 
of chromatic harmony. I cannot, thercfote, refrain from 
quoting one — 

Fig ig. •• God, Thou an Greal." L. SpOHR. 

A SugptUd Systtm of Chromalic Harmony. 83 

The score from which this extract is taken contains an 
accompanying chorus, but as the solo and pianoforte paits 
supply the Ml harmony I have omitted it for the sake of 

It would be di£Bcult to imagine a more beautiful passage 
exhibiting such skilful manipulation of chromatic harmony, 
and yet so ingeniously interspersed with dominant and tonic 
harmony as to leave in mast minds no doubt as to the key, 
particularly from the third bar to the end. 

As this example, like the previous ones, may be analysed 
throughout as written, to give an analysis here would be 
superfluous. It is a remarkable fact, however, worthy of 
notice, that while thi: incltidy purely diatonic the extract 
furnishes example's of fuiiilaEin-iitN: discords upon all the seven 
different roots. 

Before dismis^iE;; the ron.suli ration of these examples let 
me state that I fully anticipate the possibility of one, or even 
more, of the chromatic prcsre^sions employed in them 
producing in bome niindb the inipr.ssion of modulation. In 
these cases it is obviously simpler to reganl them as such. 

Where ambiguity of tonality exists, I repeat, the impression 
produced often varies with different individuals ; consequently 
It is simplest and most natural to deal with chords and 
progressions in that key which the context more or less 
em^atically suggests to the particular individual. 

Chords of the Augmknted Sjxth. 

By referring to the cycle of diatonic and chromatic con- 
cords. Fig. 6, it will bo seen that there yet remain five 
concords (Nos. 8 — 12) which it is possible to employ as the 
foundations of chromatic discords. 

In each case the added discord takes the form of an 
alimented sixth — 

84 A Saggesled System of Chromalic Harmony. 

From H purely theoretical point of view it is possible to 
commence the cycle again by similarly treating the ionic 

By adding the chord, so obtained, to the five chords 
already before us, a diagram may be constructed showing 
that the combined chords of the augmented sixth possible in 
the tonic minor and relative minor keys are, like funda.- 
mental discords, analogous to those in the major key — 

Fig. 31. C Minor. A Minor. 

C Major. 

From this diagram it will be seen that there arc nctualty 
six possible chords of the augmented sixth in the major key 
and three in the minor. 

It is obviously impossible to carry this principle farther in 
either the major or minor key, because a moment's reflection 
will shoAv that such a process would necessitate the employ- 
ment of an accidental — the enharmonic equivalent of a 

There arc many points connected with these discords upon 
which k would interesting to enlarge did time permit. I 
will notice two. 

In the first place, the six chords in Che major key furnish 
us with every note of the chromatic scale, consisting of notes 
both chromatically raised and lowered. And in the second 
place, if we combine with these six chords Ihe fundamental 
discords of the minor seventh (Fig. 7), we obtain a complete 
cycle of discords possible in the key — 

and if arranged in scale form would, moreover, give us a 
discord upon every note of what is generally termed the 
" harmonic" chromatic scale. 

The last chord of the ai^cmented axth in this cycle is 
ahoYm to be the enhannoilic equivalent of the tonic minor 
seventh with which the cycle commences. Hence, it may 
ba said to form a connecting link between chords of the 
augmented sixth and fundamental discords of the minor 

A Suggested System of Ckromatic Harmony, 85 

In its best progression to a dominant discord it resembles 
the more familiar tonic minor seventh, which it invariably 
suggests. It will be apparent, thtrcfori:, that I have 
included it more on ac:connt of its tiu'ortlical po.-isibility than 

its individual worth. 

By adopting the most natural progression of the two notes 
fbiming the interval of the augmented sixth, all the remaiiiing 
five chords mpy proceed at once to a diatonic concord — 

As. however, the chords of the augmented sixth are best 
resolved upon major chords, chromatic major chords of 
resolution may be employed without necessarily producing a 
mcdulation — 

Fig. 34. 

At (a) the augmented sixth upon the minor third of the 
scale proceeds to the supertonic chromatic concord : at (6) 
that upon the minor seventh proceeds to the submediant 
chromatic concord ; and at (c) that upon the subdommant 
proceeds to the mediant chromatic concord. 

Other chromatic progressions from the cjioriis 01 uiu 
augmented sixth are, of course, possible. T 
I have ^iven, however, sufficiently demonsiiaLi; not omv 
the possibility, hut the practicability of the employment of 
the chords upon even their most extreme roots. 

I will content myself by quoting one example of a com- 
paratively extreme chord of the augmented sixth — 

Pig. 35- 

"REbckah." Baknby. 

85 A Suggested System of Chromalic Harmony. 

The extract is unquestionably in C major Ibroiiglioiit. The 
chord at x, tliei:, is the augmented sixth upon the minor 
third of the scale ill its root position proceeding at once to 
the dominant seventh. 

I give this example because according to no other theory 
with whicli I am acquainted can the chord be satisfactorily 
accounted for as a chromatic chord, either in the notation ia 
which it is expressed or by enharmonic alteration. 

So tar my remarks have been confined to the German 
sixth, which, while it is unquestionably by far the most 
important form of the chord, is also the most naturally 
evolved from the theory we are considering. 

The Italian sixth, differing from it only in the omission of 
the hfth, calls for no special comment. 

The French aixlh, on tlie other hand, differs from the 
Gennas sixth in a more material sense by the substitution 
of a fourth for the fifth, the interval being an augmented 
fourth from the root. 

In this iblm of the chord, however, the fourth frequently 
appears to be simply the anticipation of an essential 
note of the succeeding harmooT, as will be seen by the 
accompanying illustration of the natiural progression of 
two of these diords— 

Fig. 36. 

The same may also be said of the other forms of the chord 
of which rare instances are to be found. 

With slight modification, therefore, what has already 
been demonstrated with regard to the German sixth is 
applicable also to the Italian, French, and other forms of 
the chord. 

So I have dealt with accidentals in the capacity of 
essential parts of particular chords only. They are, however, 
often employed as 

Unbssbhtiai. Chroh&tic Notes. 

These condst of chromatic passing notes and auxiliary 
notes of various kinds, the functions of which seem to be 
that of adding emphasis to a particular essential note of a 
chord (Fig. 37), or of afibrding the most gradual melodic 

firogression between two or mote such essential notes 
Kg. 38)- . 

A SugglsUd System of Chromatic Harmony, 87 

A consideration of the context, as these examples sufH- 
cicntly show, mill invariably enable one to decide whether a 
chromatic note forms an essential part of the chord or not. 
Of course the presence of the diatonic essential note in 
another part necessarily removes all the matter. 

The Chromatic Scales (Major Mode). 
The theory we have been considering obviously shows 
that the true form of the chromatic scale in the major key 
is the familiar one ascending by sharps and descending 
almost entirely by flats — 

?ig. 39. 

In the ascending scale the attemative note Bt> is included, 
because Af, forming part of the two mosl extreme cliords in 
the key, is much less frequently employed. 

The sharps in the ascending stale, when trca'.cd as 
essential parts of chromatic chords, consist [iriiiiarily of the 
thirds of chromatic major concords and fundamental discords, 
and the sixths of chords of the au^ented sixth ; the natural 
progression of all of which is to rue a semitone. ■ 

Similarly the flats in the descending scale consist, itiltr 

Digilized by Google 

88 A S,.sg^sted SysUm of Chromatic Harmony. 

alia, of ihe minor seventh of llic tonic (liV), minor ninths of 
fundamental discords, and the roots of cliords of the aug- 
mented sixth ; the natural progression of all of which is to 
fail a semitone. 

This form ot tlie cbrofflatic scale is, tHeretore, not onlv the 

natural. Hence, doubtless, its extreme popularity. 

In asrendinj;, Hu: ultcrnative note D> (like the minor 
seventh in the majur key) is included because C{, forming 
part of the two most extreme chords in the key, is much Jess 
frequently employed. 

The descending scale, it will be observed, is identical with 
the descending scale of C major (Fig. 39), and by transposing 
the ascending scaie into A minor we obtain, moreover, a 
chromatic scale Identical in notation with the ascending 
scale of C major. 

The accompanying diagram will clearly illustrate this — 

DigiiLzefl b/ Google 

A SuggaUd System of Chromatic Harmony. 

In this diagram is illustrated once more the connection 
between a major key and its two minor keys. 

With this principle I began, and with it I conclude the 
practical portion oi this paper, feeling confident that by its 
means I have been euabted to formulate a ^stem of 
chromatic harmony at once philosophical, practical, and 

I.el IIS now l.iki: ii li.'islv ubiiicc iit 

remarks to the major, minor, and chromatic scales. 

The earliest appearance in tlie harmonic series of any 
• scale may be discovorod by takiiijj the fractions representing 
- the ratios of its intervals, and finding the least common 
multiple of their denominators. In other words, reducing 
these fractions to a common denominator in its lowest terms. 
In a major scale the ratios arc — 

Major and, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major 6th, 

I I » » 3 

major 7th, Octave. 

V T 

The least common multiple of the denominators of these 
fractions gives us the twenty-fourth harmonic G from the 
generator C. 

Hence the first complete major scale evolved from the 


A Suggested System of Chromatic Harmony. 

Harmonica 24 27 30 32 36 40 45 48 
G A B C U E Fjt G 
Again, the first three ditTerent sounds that occur in nature's 
scale &01D the generator C, are C, G, E (first, third, and 
fifth harmonics), so that the tonic triad may be said to form 
the bads of harmony. It is the Jsource from which alt other 
chords spring, and to which they must eventually necessarily 
return before a sense of finality and repose can be felt. All 
other chords, both diatonic and chromatic, can exist only in 
a more or less subordinate relationship to this triad. 

Now as everj' new generated sound becomes the generator 
of another series, we may, by treating G (the first new sound 
from the generator C) as a secondary generator, obtain the 
major triad G, B, D; and from D, by a similar process, 
obtain the triad D, F|, A. 

Inasmuch as t!iese three triads, taken collectively, con- 
stitute the scale of G, we have once more a purely scientific 
derivation of the dominant scale as the first complete major 
scale in the harmonic scries. 

It is obvious that we have only to continue the process 
just indicated to obtain the major triads upon every note of 
the dominant scale, with which, and their added discords, 
we have already become familiar — 

G D A E B Ft Cf 

E B Ft Cf Gt , D| AJ 

C G D A E B f| 

__ e this process farther would clearly n 

the introduction of a chromatic note the major third of 
Cjf), which, inasmuch as it forms the enharmonic equivalent 
of a diatonic note of the scale of the generator (C). can form 
no part of its chtomatic scale. 

Moreover, in the harmonic series the relationsliip between 
sounds being simple in proportion to their proximity to the 
generator, the triad upon the raised subdpminant is, for 
practical purposes, the most extreme chord of its kind 
obtainable from that series. Hence, doubtless, the rarity of 
that chord, and the discords raised upon it, in actual 

Foniaps thii most (;^5;'jitial point upon which this suggested 
system uititrs with current theories is its basis upon the 
analogy that has been shown to exist between the chords of 
a major key and those of its relative minor combined with 
its tonic minor. 

By applying to the minor scale the same method ofcal- 

A Suggested System ofCkromalie Harmottf. 

dilation as in the nvijor key it will be found that the first 

complerc minor scale m the hamionjc scries, from the 

f;t;ni:r:aor L,. la [iiai ui b imiior, 11; its uirLt; lorms. commenc- 

Buariiik' iu>L>[i iiii^i ijuuii. 1. i,. bnt^uc, u\ tim introduction 
to his treatise on ■■ Practical Harmony, says; — 

- It must seem strange that the minor scale should be 
deriTed from a sound which, according to our musical system, 
has no place in that scale, and stands in a very remote 
relationship to if. It is nevertheless a fact that the scale of 
B minor is the first perfect minor scale that is evolved from 
the ascending series of natural harmonics belonging to the 
root C." 

It has been shown that the first major scale evolved from 
the harmonic series is that of the dominant — the scale of G 
from the generator C— and, moreover, that the first minor 
scale so evolved is thai of the relative minor of the dominant 
of that scale— viz., B minor, the relative minor of D. Hence, 
to quote the same author again : " This may be taken as 
affording some proof that major scales have a closer natural 
connection with their relative minors than with their tonic 
minors ; for, were we to search for the tonic minor of G, or 
of its fifth above, we should be unable to find either of them 
in the same sprites at all.'' 

I have already stated that in the harmoi 
relationship lietween sounds is simple in proportion to their 
proximity to tlic generator. 

It need scarcely surprise us, then, that the first complete 
chromatic scale in the harmonic series does not appear until 
we reach the 384th harmonic (G), as a simple calcidation will 

The scale, so obtained, is that rising entirely by sharps. 
Were the same principle applied, however, to the " harmonic" 
form of the chromatic scale, such a scale would -not appear 
in that scries until the 1440th harmonic (Fj) 1 Hence it 
would seem that the chromatic scale, ascending by sharps, 
has the better claim, to scientific basis. 

In associating the various scales with natural science, I 
have adhered to strict niaiiiematical accuracy in their ratios. 
If the minor and chromatic sralea which I have obtained by 
this means occupy a position too high in the harmonic series 
to establish for them any practical connection with the 
generator, it only serves to emphasise the words of Helmholtz, 
that " The construction of scales, keys, and chords is a 
product of artistic invention, and hence must be subject to 
the laws of artistic beauty." 

To return, in conclusion, to the practical side of the 
question, I feel that this paper would be incomplete without 
some indication as to when and how I think tlie sutyect of 

A Suggested Syuem of Chromatic Hamtaiiy. 

chromatic harntonv might be most ad v a nt a gcoiislv approached 
by the student, and its bearing upon me siuiw oi narniony 

The elemeniarv portion of the Htii'iinit worK. i would 
suggest, might most ptofitablv Du slncuv 1:0111.11011 lu dialonic 
harmony. Commencing with the diatonic coiicoras iipon a 
method similar to that indicated in the earlier part of the 
valuable paper recently contributed to this Association by 
Dr. Vincent, ana followed in turn by inversions of those 
concords, suspensions, dominant discorus. and auxiliary 

When this, which I consider to be the groundwork of all 
harmony, has been thoroughly masierHil. ilio suiiiect of 
natural modulation could be mtroducea — a subject which, I 
would siiL'L'ost. miRht be consiaetably simplified by the 
simple slaiLmtut that it consists 01 a modulation to the key 
of any of the uiatonic inaas auatlauie in the pnmary key, as 
already illustrated in FiL'. 2. 

It wouiii men [je neceasarv onlv to explain that, having 
introduced the dominant chord of a related key, theiiiiprcKsion 
of modulation may be prevented by following it with chords 
highly characteristic of the primary key. By this means the 
foundation of a clear and intelligent understanding of one of 
the chief principles of chromatic harmony would be laid, and 
the way paved for a comprehensive study of what is the 
source of so much beauty in modern music. 


The Chairman.— Wc will give our hearty thanks to Mr. 
Wyatt for his jiapor, which must have cost him very much 
trouble. I dil'i'or ironi him on some of the chief points of 
discussion, and i entlrdy differ as to what constitutes a key 
and what constitutes a modulation. A modulation, as I 
understand it, is a change of key shown by intr^ucing a 
chord foreign to the key we are leaving. Mr. Wyatt says 
that his first example is in the key of F throughout, but I do 
not think so ; there are two modulations in this exercise, one 
at (a), where we have the chord of the dominant ninth in D 
minor resolving on the submediant of the same key. The 
second is at (6), whore we have the dominant ninth in G minor 
resolving on the tonic of the key. In the third example he 
puts in a chord A, C sharp, E, which I cannot under any 
circumstances allow to be in C minor. With such differences 
with regard to modulation, we have not many points in 
comnipn to discuss. According to his illustrations, he seems 

A Suggested System of Ckromatic Ha/inony. 93 

to say that there ore SGvenleen notes in the scale ; wc might 
just as well get lo the Indian scale of iwenty-two notes. As 
I understand the term " koy," and as it is understood by most 
theorists, the key doehi nut consist of more than twelve notes. 
Many of the older schtiol K.iy it has only seven, and that the 
other notes ate takt'n out of other keys, and do not belong to 
the key. I admit that chroni.itic notes do not belong to C, for 
example, in the same stnsc and degree as do F and B ; bnl I 
cannot admit under any circumstances that this A major 
chord belongs to C minor. The chromatic chord on the 
Eupertonic can come into the key of C minor as well as C 
major, as being a borrowed chord. Mr. Wyatt talks of agreat 
many chords giving a suggestion of a tnodtilatioa to some 
other key, which suggestion is not conlirmed by what follows. 
So far I absolutely agree with his definition, but I do not 
tbinic we can take it in such a wide sense as to include this 
A major chord in C minor. You cannot go and borrow for C 
major or C minor from any of the major or minor keys, and 
say you have still a chromatic chord of C minor. 1 fully 
admit the harmonic connection between any major key and 
its tonic minor. I also quite agree that our system of tonality 
does not rest solely on mathematical calculation or natural 
laws. I don't think any system would work on the plan 
proposed by Mr. Wyatt. Whether you take the laws of 
Richter, Goss, and otlier old theorists, or Day, Maefarren, 
and my own, I don't think you could get any real harmonic 
connection between the keys of C and A minor. The 
diatonic chords of C are derived, according to the old theory, 
from the three principal notes of the kev. C, F, and G, its 
lifth abovK snd its fifth below ; the triad of C, the triad of F, 
ami tho triad of G give all the notes of the diatonic Hcale. 
Now similarly if we.lake Macfarren's system, the whole chord 
is derived from C and G. We do not need to go any farther 
than C andG — in fact, we might get the whole of the notes of 
the scale from G, the dominant note of the scale. How 
about C and A minor ? Now in C the origin of the key will 
either he these three notes on the old system, C, F, G, 
or, on the Maefarren system, C and G. But take A minor. 
Do yon get the chords of A minor from C and G ? Voir get 
them on the same system from A, H, and D. Well now as 
to the diatonic and chromatic major chords. There are a 
great many of these which I cannot persuade myself to bring 
into the kty of C at all. Mr. Wyatt says that you can get 
the chord (,f li major in the key of C ; 1 do not see H at all 1 
Why one of the essentials of the key of C is the minor third 
above the leading note. You cannot get the D sharp without 
getting more than twelve notes in the key. But there is our 
difficulty. We are not agreed on that fondamental bads — 
what constttates a key, and what the contents of the key are. 

Digilized Dy Google 

94 A Suggested System of Chro/nalic Harmony. 

Until I succeed in convincing jiiysclf lhal tliete aie seventeen 
notes in a key, wliich I certainly cannot at present, we cannot 
discuss this matter in detail. I am afraid it may be my want 
of comprehension, but I do not quite grasp what Mr. Wyatt 
means— what he supposes a modulation to be, because Fig. 
i8 seems to imply .a modulation in every example. If 
a dominant seventh followed by a tonic chord does not malte 
a modulation, I should be very glail to learn wliaf does, 

Mr. Wyatt.- They may he rnodiilations ; it depends on 

the context. 

The Chairman.— It does not depend upon the context. 
Look at Fig. 19. Here ate exactly the same chords. Here 
are chords that do not efiect modulations, because they are not 
followed in the ke^ which th^ suggest. The first chord 
suggests a modulation to F. It is immediately contradicted 
by the B natural in the following chord. That does not belong 
to the scaleof F. So in the same way take the fourth of these 
chords ; the chord of the dominant seventh on A suggests a 
modulation to D, but it is not confirmed, for we have a G 
chord inimediatuly after. In Fig. 21 Mr. Wyatt teUs us that 
Ihe D sharp \^ realiy a D sharp, and (hat the A sharp is really 
an A sharp. I say they are ilLstmctly E llat and B Hat. What 
is the advantage ofthe convenient notation ? It is not merely 
to save the accidentals ; it is to indicate the direction in 
which a particular note is going, In nine cases out of ten 
with these chords Mozart, who knew something about 
harmony, has written fiats. It is a very rare thing to find 
Mozart writing chords in this way. Mozart particularly 
M^cd this minor ninth in its teal notation. He would have 
written an E fiat and a 15 fiat, and lieethoven also writes 
these Hats where, Mr. Wyatt says, the notes should be sharp. 

Mr. Banister.— 1 think the whole thing depends upon 
whether you regard the chromatic scale as a series of modu- 
lations or in the same key. I agree with you that it ia a 
series of modulations, and that to condemn that notation is 
monstrously absurd. 

Mr. Wyatt, — I do not think anybody ever condemns this 
notation ofthe sharps. 

Mr. Banister.— A pupil of mine came one day to Sir 
George Macfarren for examination, and he said : '• How do 
you note the chromatic scale?" "Well," she said, "there 
are two ways." " I never heard of more than one," he 
answered, " and you had better stick to that." 

Mr. Wyatt. — The point of difference seems lo be what 
constitutes a modulation. The theory that I have been 
speaking about to-ni^ht seeks to analyse music according to 
the notation in which we find it, and the key which the 
context seems to surest. Mr. Front referred to Pig. iS. I 
clearly explained that, although employed to illustrate 

A Suggeslff! Sy^len, a/ Chromalk Han>w«y. 95 

chromatic progressions, it would do tqiially u-ell for the 
simplest means of natural modulation. He thinks a modu- 
lation has been established. I hold that two chords do not 
invariably produce a modulation ; 1 have studied the 
question ibr a long time, and if I may say so I havi; tried to 
humbug mj conscience and to believe that they necessarily 
constitute a modulation, but I cannot do it. 

The Chairman. — Doesn't it depend upon what two chords ? 
You have not told us what two chords constitute a moduia- 

Mr. Wyatt. — The dominant seventh of a new key followed 
by its touic, Davenport's little book on the " Day " Theory 
of Harmony states that the tonic minor seventh may proceed 
to the siibdominant chord. Will Mr. Front tell me if he 
considers that a modulation ? 

The Chairman. — I should consider that a transient modu. 

Mr. WvATT. — Davenport allows the progression chromati- 
cally, provided it is followed by chords highly characteristic 
of, and clearly defining, the key, and 1 n^dnlain that it is 
equally possible in each of these cases io follow the chords 
in a similar manner, without leaving sufficient impression of 
a modulation to warrant its consideration. 

The Chairuan.— I distinctly decline lo admit that any of 
the chords of the seventh in Fig. 19 are in the key of C at 
all, except those in the first three examples. 

Mr. Wyatt.— That comes of limiting yourself in your 
chromatic scale. I believe the question of modulation often 
resolves itself into one of mental impression produced on the 
individual. But when you come to Fig. rg, this is a 
question of notation, whether you are going to limit yourself 
to a chromatic scale of twelve or seventeen notes. I have 
shown in the " scientific aspect of the subject " the possibility 
of the sharps, how they are produced in the most natural 
way. Tonic Sol-faists set us a noble example, not so much 
in harmony as in the natural way they teach singing. I have 
here a little music which contains a number of chromatic 
chords, many of which ! am sure Mr. Prout would not admit 
as they stand, and yet the whole piece is, with one shorty 
exception, Sol-faed in the key of F. 

Mr. Baker. - I think very often the Sohfaists keep on as if 
they were in the original key, because it is not worth while 
to change for a few notes. 

A vote of thanks was then passed unanimously. 

In thb Chair. 


By Logis N. Pakkbr, A.R.A.M., forhbrlv Director op 
THB Music in Shbrborkb School. 

Mr. Chairuan, Ladies, and Gentleueh,— After accepting the 
very flattering invitation to read a paper before your Society, 
on the subject of Music in our Public Schools, and upon sitting 
down to conwder the matter, I was brought suddenly face to 
face with the disconcerting fact that I knew htilq or nothing 
about it. The history of music in [lublic schools only dates 
back some twenty years, and during that timi; 1 have been 
so busy minding own affairs at Sherborne, that I have 
had few opportunities of inquiring into other people's 
businesfi. I have, to he sure, heard concerts at Cheltenham, 
»iariiHirouL[ii. ami narrow, nut uowhere else, and this 
iiHiiLUd Knowii^iure wouKi cecuiiniv not qualify me to speak 
as an autboritv. I'ur ItiouL'h 1 have heard it fabled that 
[)L-ui>je ao at tiniL-s nocture iinou r<ubjects they are unac- 

auvpnuirc [iciuii- iiiis aimieTice. i propose, therefore, to 
eiieci a <;(jiiuir<)iiiisir. ami nj iirii v'l ruy experience of music 
in a dudik: s<:mi>oj — niimeiv. fiiiuriioine. 1 shall, at any rate, 
be on sate ground, as I spent nineteen years of my life there, 
during the greater part of which I was responsible for what- 
ever music was studied or performed. I must crave your 
indulgence beforehand if the little word " I " creeps with too 
great persistency into my discourse. This paper must 
necessarily be a fragment of musical autobiography, and the 
humblest autobiography must necessarily be, like a peacock's 
' 1, all I's. On the other hand, the autobiography of the 


I propose to say first what I consider the ideal which the 
public school music-master should set before himself; then 
to recount the difliculties he will find in his path ; and lasth", 
as a practical illustration, to give you a true and faithfiil 
account of the music at Sherborne, whereby you will be able 
to gather how nearly the ideal may be approached, under 
quite ordinary conditions, with no circumstances of great 
wealth, or more than average intelligence on the part of the 
teachers or the taught. I urge you constitnlly to remember 
that what I say is merely my own opinion, to be taken for 

Briefly put, the great object of a musician in a public 
school must be by all and any means to inspire the boys 
with a love of music in general, and with a sufficient practical 
experience of it to enable them to understand any music 
they may hear in later life, whether it be instrumental or 
vocal, sacred or secular, larffe or small. Above all, they 
must be taught the difTiirrnnp hrtwmn food music and bad, 
■ between worthy art and unworthv — and this, for reasons 
which 1 shall touch upon later, .is the moat diiEcult part of 
the teacher's task. I think a great deal has been done, if, 
upon leaving school, a boy knows what a symphony is and 
What a sonata, and can tell you the difierence between an 
oratorio and a comic opera. Still more has been done if you 
have cottvinced him that there are no terrors in the higher 
forms of music— that there is no such thing as classical 
music at aU, in the sense in which tlic word classical is used 
by certain publishers and by hnishinc governesses. He 
must be taught that there are only two kinds of music- 
music which is good, and music which is not music at all. 
Apart from this there is. of course, a wide field open for wliat 
I will call ornamental instruction. It is ablessed thingthat a 
boy should get a vague idea of the rudiments of orchestration, 
that he should known the difference between an oboe and a 
clarinet, between a violin and a viola, between kettledrums 
and side drums, and should no longer describe a violoncello 
as a double bass, or call a cornet a horn. These, however, 
are the graces of life, and are not, by far, so vital as the 
general appreciations 1 alluded to at first. The main matter 
is to teach a boy to love music, or, it he comes to you with a 
natural inborn love of the art, to direct that love into a 
proper channel, and to sec to it that what was meant for 
Beethoven is not wasted on Dan Leno. When your boys 
come back to you from the holidays, and tell you that they 
have been to Saturday concerts at the Crystal Palace, or to 
first-rate performances of Oratorio, and have thoroughly 

Music i)! Our PuhlU Schools. 


enjoyed them, you may complacently pat yourself on the 
chest, in the certain knowledge that you have achieved a 
triumph. You must remember that the material you are 
workiiig in is the general cultivated public of a future day. 
You are not training professors, you are training audiences. 
If you will permit me to use a hateful word, you are training 
fashionable audiences, and yoii are, therefore, in a position 
to do infiiiile harm, or infinite ijood. to your art. You Cannot 
take yourself too s.:rio\isly. piibhc school boy is the 
sharpest creature in the world, and the slightest symptom 
on your part of anything in the shape of contempt for your 
art will be seized upon by him at once, and will come home 
to roost on your own shoulders. Moreover, you must not be 
narrow. You must assume a virtue if you have it not, and 
be perfectly impartial concerning all composers. The boy 
will gravitate to what best suits him when he reaches man- 
hood ; yout duty is to open his mind to all the great masters 
and the little ones as well, and— if my view is correct— you 
must so lead him that when he leaves you he is prepared to 
understand what men arc at that moment admiring, and does 
not step into the world a fossil, with the ideas of the day 
before yesterday-week. 

These Hunt's sound like commonplaces to yoti, ladies and 
gentlemen ; you were very probably, most of you, born with 
the fairy gift of music in your cradles ; but there may be 
some among you whose position was similar to my own. It 
is possible that one or two of you were forced into artistic 
life by your inborn love of the art, but had no artistic training 
worth speaking of in your early youth. Consider the marvel- 
lous world which burKt upon you when you heard your first 

understand what it was all about, bul, apart from the sensual 
pleasure you tlcrivcd from the inexplicable interweaving of 
melody upon melody, and from the rushing waves of harmony, 
did you imderstand anything ? And would it not have been 
a priceless boon to you if, in your schooldays, some fiiendly 
mentor had opened your eyes to the outline of these marvels, 
so that when you first heard them in all their heavenly 
development you had already some smattering of the 
language, and could grasp the meaning of them f That, I 
say, is the Public School Music-master's duty: to make the 
way smooth in after-life among musical masterpieces, not for 
htre and flicrc a gifted boy, but for all the boys — even for 
the stupidest. 

I turn now to the means whereby this ideal may be 
approached. The first and most important is the School 
Musical Society, which includes the chok and the orchestra, 
and by choir 1 mean a choral society formed for the study 
and performance of the highest kind of choral music, both 

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Music itt Our Public Sclwols. 

sacred and secular. The church, or, as it is linown in public 
schools, the chapel music I will, with your permission, leave 
out of the question. For this reason: that it is practically 
impossible in school life to derote anything like adequate 
time to both branches of the art, and that (in my opinion, 
remember) the larger and more universal branch is of greater 
importance, owum co ino, which must be kept steadily in 
view, that we are not eaucating choirboys, hut musical 
audiences on the broadest basis. 

The School Musical Society, then, is the centre of musical 
life and education in the public school. Now, how is that 
society to he formed ? Is it to lie, as far as possible, a model 
choral societj', to which only those boys arc to be admitted 
who have beautiful voices, together with some knowledge of 
sight-reading, or is it Jo embrace everybody who wants to 
join it ? I answer emphatically, Get everybody into it who 
chooses to come, whether he sings like an angel or sc[iieal3 
like a pig. You want to make mu^c popular, and you can 
only do it among those who take active part in it. If I had 
ray own way the whole school should be in the musical 
society. There arc practical reasons why that cannot be ; 
then, at any rate, I would aim at having every boy in the 
school pass through the musical society at some period of his 
school life, if he only stayed in it one term. Music is an art 
in which an ounce of performance is worth tons of listening, 
and the boy who has sung a part in the great oratorios has 
an intimate koowlet^e of them, and acquires an afiection for 
them, which no amount of listening might give him. The 
accomplished musician, accustomed to the perfection of great 
concerts, will say that it is impossible to produce any sort of 
respectable effect with a chorus of wild British boys, selected 
on no principle except Chat of their willingness to join, and 
with an orchestra of similar boys, who ate only just learning 
thatafiddlehas bothabackLind a Ih IIv. Biittlic iicconipli^hed 
musician begs the question. We are nut aiming' perfect 
performances, we are aiming :it triiinin;,' tciste. For that 
reason 1 should urge all who embrace the arduous career of 
music-master in a public school not to yield to tlie tempta- 
tion to set their boys at work on cantatas of the mild and 
easy type, such as are turned out by the ton tvery year. 
Set them to work, rather, on masterpieces, and, believe me, 
the harder the work is the more the boys will learn to enjoy 
it- It is a great mistake to suppose boys cannot be made to 
care for the great composers. If you work with enthusiasm 
you will very soon find that they can be made to care for no 
others. 1 have once or twice, owing to inherent laziness, 
chosen one of these ad captandum works for the boys at 
Sherborne, and before a fortnight had elapsed I bitterly- 
regretted my choice. The public school boy is a w^, and 

Music in Our Public Schools. 

he has a way of linding out the weak spots in a libretto and 
the bald places in a composition, which would he of great 
service to any London critic — especially if that London critic 
wrote librettos himself ; and boys trained on Haydn, Handel, 
and Mendelssohn will not be put off ivith the fustian of 
such composers as I have alluded to. In two words, the 
public school musician should, ]il;e eve^ other mu^cian, aim 
high, and if he &ils in producioK a Richter orchestra or a 
Baniby_ choir, he will produce wEat neither of those great 
institutions could live without — namely, an audience that can 
appreciate them. 

Now, let me toi;ch on the dificiilties. The (iilTiciilties 
begin long before :he ^tlioahioy tomes to school. Tlu--y begin 
in the preparatory school, and, even more, in the home. Out 
of the many hundreds of boys who, in the course of my 
nineteen years at Sherborne, passed through my hands, not 
more than, shall I say twenty — I am exaggerating the 
number, but I will say twenty — had any glimmering ghost of 
a conception of what music is before they came to school. 
I have learnt to believe that music is absolutely neglected 
in preparatory schools, just when so much could be done, 
just when the little boy could so easily be taught the rudi- 
ments. In the home the case, as far as my experience goes, 
is still worse. The boy's mind is not allowed to lie fallow, 
but is filled, heaven knows how, with all the barrel-organ 
jingles of the day. To the musician nothing is more pathetic 
than to find that a nice clean chcrtib-faccd youngster, haihng 
from the wilds of Scotland or Wales, the possessor, perchance, 
of an angelic voice, knows nothing of "Auld Lang Syne" or 
the " March of the Men of Harlech," but can howl the latest 
London music hall vulgarity in a sort of bucolic imitation of 
the London performer. He has been brought up in a refined 
home and would knock any other boy down who said he was 
no gentleman, he has learned all the sweetest counsels of life 
at his mother's knee, but just in this one unfortunate ait of 
ours he is no better than a heathen slum-child. The same 
difficulty arises in the holidays. The boys who have been work- 
ing at Gounod's " Messe Soletmelle" or Bennett's "Woman 
orSamaria*' with keen enjoyment during the term, will, at the 
end of the holidays, bring yoti the piano score — not the vocal 
score, the piano score— of the latest burlesque, with compliments 
from their mamma and won't you let the choir learn that for 
speech day. It is not until the boy gets to be big enough to 
choose his own entertainments that the fruits of your teaching 
are seen, and you have your reward when he comes back with 
the announcement that he heard the Passion Music at Saint 
Paul's and enjoyed it, or that he persuaded his entire family 
to eo to Bayreuth for the summer holidays. 

Another difBciilty, which, fortunately for myself 1 can only 

MHsie M Oitr Public Sehooli- 

speak of from hearsay, lies in the headmaster. Headmasters 
are of different sorts, but they are all autocrats. I believe 
parish organists sometimes quarrel with tlieir vitars, and by 
getting the vestry on tlieir side raise apow-wow in the parish. 
The school music- mas tt;r can itfforii no such luj:ury. If the 
headmaster says Go, he has to go at once. If the headmaster 
is unmusic-il }Our un'.y liope is in trying to improve his 
neglected cducuticii bv guiille means and by unwearied 
patience. Wiien lie tolls you there are no tunes in "Saint 
Paul," smile at him blandly. When lie wants to introduce 
Moody and Sankey into the Chapel Service, smile again ; and 
when he suggests that unlsoa ^nging is the highest foim of 
music because all — even he himself— can join in it — well, 
then I am afraid it is time foi you to resign. 

What shall I say of football and cricket? 1 fear it is 
useless to say anything. The sooner the mndc-master 
recognises that he has got to do his work in epite of those 
all-powerful institutions the better for him. Indeed, the 
attitude which the public school musician has to adopt is one 
of watchful sinuousness. He must slip in wherever he sees 
an opening. He must have his practices when and how he 
can. A few boys at a time. Before breakfast ; directly after 
lunch ; during a shower ; just before going to bed ; at all sorts 
of untimely moments. And he must be jirepared to fnid that 
on the night of the concert, after sin weeks of unremitting 
toil (when the Lord Lieutenant and all the heads of the 
county are in the concert-room, and he thinlis he has brought 
"The Messiah" to something like perfection), every boy in his 
choir has lost his voice because he has yelled himself hoarse 
on the football field, and then filled himself with lemonade 
and buns at the tuck shop. 

Let me now describe briefly the music at Sherborne. The 
Musical Society was founded in 1871 by my predecessor, 
Mr. James Sterndale Bennett, son of Sir Sterndale Bennett, 
and now headmaster of Derby. He began at once on 
Handel's " Judas MaccabECus." It was a bold undertaking 
in those days, but by his persistency and enthusiasm he soon 
won the boys away from their shyness. When I joineil him 
in 1S73 I found, to my astonishment, an excellent choral 
society in full swing. An old silk factory within the school 
precincts had been turned into a music-room, properly seated, 
and with a convenient orchestra at the end. In 1877, on 
Mr. Bennett's re^gnation, I was appointed to succeed him. 
One term later Mr. Young was elected headmaster, and to 
show you how fortunate a thing that was for the music of the 
school, I will only say that, when the new big schoolroom 
was built, he allowed me to design a permanent orchestra 
for it, and had the plan of the room altered so as to 
admit of a large organ chamber at the back of and 

M„iic in Om Public Schools. 

above the orchcslra. When, a year or two later, we had 
built our beautiful organ — witli its pneumatic keyboard on 
the orchestra at right angles with the conductor — which, by the 
way, was opened by niy late friend Mr. Thomas Wingham, we 
were, with our Bioadwood grand, our organ, and out perma- 
nent orchestra, one of the best equipped schools in England. 
We had two concerts every term. At one we performed 
almost invariiiblv ii comnlete work of some sort ; nt the other 
wecave wtiai is miowii asnmisceiiaueotissejeaion. fu j.'.asiut 
and in the middle of Tune, on Soeech Dav. we had our most 

}ir averaged a nundred 
sistant masters. The 

s iiaa an nour's lull practice, generally 
im 4 to s- 1'he choir and orchestra, were 
1 had the power to press any boy of 
the lower school into my service, but, as a matter of fact, I 
never used this power. My f^rizut aim was always to make 
the music popular and, from thL schoolboy point of view, 
fashionable. With this object I confess I generally cajoled 
the captain of the school, the captain of the games, as many 
of the fifteen and of the eleven as possible, and the majority 
of l\m sixth form to join us. Wliere tliey lead liie younger 
boys are prond to follow. I never stopped lo ask them 
whether they had voices, and if at first the kind of faux 
bourdon drone they sometimes produced was to a certain 
extent disconcerting, it undeniably added a weird richness 
to the chorus, especially if it happened to be in the key of 
the composition. It is, however, only fair to add that some 
of my best basses and tenors have developed out of these 
droners, and that fellows wlio never got out of llie droning 
stage were often C:.r, kLeiie.,! ,ind luosL en(lm!=iastie n;uMcians. 
There were no p;inii;liinen-.Li in oonneLtion willi llii:. music. 
The only weapon I '.vieldeJ ■.vas, Lhe thrcai of e>Lpnlsion from 
the choir, and I can only recall one case in which I had to 
use itj and then I re-adniitted the peccant youth at the next 
practice. The only privilege in connection with the rou^cal 
society .was that its members got ofT two hours' work on the 

104 ^""'^ Ok, Public Schools. 

last morning of tetm, when very little work of any sort was 
done. The idea in my mind— though I never confessed it 
aloud to my headmaster — was to dissociate the music as 
much as possible from the ordioaiy school routine, and to 
impress the boys -with the fact that music is a happy art 
and not a pedantic science. I confess that at the practices 
I joked whenever I could, and with more or less difficulty 
according to the weather. With good humour or its simu- 
lation you can lead a boy anywhere you like, and the noisiest 
rogue of the lot will succumb to good-natured sarcasm. If 
you are pedantic and prim, and high-and-mighly he will shut 
up like an oyster, and if, worse still, you jonr temper, 
you are hopelessly done for. 

If you want boys to take a real pride in their music you must 
make them perform it, as far as is anyway possible, entirely 
with their own means. All the solos, for instance, in the 
works we performed were sung by members of our own 
society. It sometimes happened that we were unable to 
produce a posdble tenor, and in those cases we were forced to 
eiwage a professional artist. In the orchestra also, it goes 
without saying, that at big coi;c<-r[;i v.u were oblijjed to fdl 
many gaps; but, with these except iuns, our unisic w^s home- 
made. While, on the one hand, J, bhould uiost earnestly 
deprecate professional criticism of the results we obtained, 
on the other I own that some of our performances gave me 
a higher and porer pleasure than many much more ambitious 
exhibitions. There is a heartiness and spontaneity about a 
chorus of a hundred boys, which one sometimes misses in a 
much more highly-trained adult choir. There is a purity 
and modesty about a boy treble, or a boy contralto, which 
has an enormous charm. When we had luck with boy 
soloists the pleasure they gave was indescribable. An entire 
absence of self- consciousness, a simple-hearted, reverent 
interpretation of the composer, without any airs and graces, 
without any nods and becks and wreathed smiles, has a 
wonderful freshness about it. I look back now on certain 

performances of the "Woman of Samaria" and of "The 
Golden Legend " with unqualified delight. 

And this leads me to mention, if I may strain your patience 
a few minutes longer, some of the works which we performed. 
I have only selected those which I think any of you would 
have listened to with pleasure. They include, among 

Handel's " Messiah " {many times), " Samson," ■' Judas," 
"Theodora," "St. Cecilia," "Acis"; Haydn's "Creation," 
"Mass in C," "Seven Last Words," and "Seasons"; 
Mendelssohn's "Elijah," "St. Paul," "Athalie," "Forty- 
second Psalm," " Hear my Prayer," " Lauda Sion," and 
"Antigone" ; Schubert's Mass in G and "Song of Miriam," 

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Music in Our Public Schools. 

Beethoven's " Ruins of Athens," Spohr's " Last Tutlgnient '* 
and " God, Thou art Great," Bennett's " May Queen " and 
"Woman of Samaria," the latter three times; Goimod's 
Messe Solenneiie." Gluck's " Orpheus," Hamish MacCunii's 
" Bonny Kiimeny," Sullivan's " Prodiga.1 Son " and " Golden 
Legend." Among the orchestral works I find Bach's two 
Concertos for three pianos and string quartet, Beethoven's 
Symphonies in C minor, C vajot, and D; twelve of 
Haydn's Symphonies, Mozart's Symphonies in Q minor, in C, 
and the "Jupiter"; Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, 
Wagner's " Siegfried Idyll," Mendelssohn's Symphony to 
the " Hymn of Praise " and " Reformation " Symphony. 
The 0%'ettures are far too numerous to mention in detail, hut 
they include the "Prometheus," "Naiades," " Iphigenia," 
"Ruy Bias," ■' Zauberfl6te," "Figaro," "Seraglio," and 
"Clemenza"; Schubert's in the Italian style, and " Rosa- 
munde." We have done Concertos for various instnunents 
by Mendelssohn, Bennett, and Beethoven, together with 
Handel's Organ Concertos and Prout's beautiful work for the 
same instrument. The detached choruses, glees, and part- 
songs are past counting, and I will only mention whole 
scenes from " Tannhauser," "Lohengrin," and the "Flying 

This may strike you as a chronicle of small beer, hut I think 
you will grant that it is no bad thing for a boy to go out into 
life bmiliar with such works as I have mentioned. At the 
present moment they are practising the "Woman of Samaria," 
under the conductorship of my successor, Mr. Hodgson, who 
by his enthusiasm and high spirits has brought fresh vigour 
into the music of Sherborne School. 

There are two points left which I should like to allude to 
very briefly. These are competitions in music, and school 
songs. We only had glee competitions, and these I think do 
jjood by keeping a heaithy spirit of ci:iLii,ttion ulive among the 
different boarding houses. If they pr.^.ctise the competition 
glee by themselves and under tiiijir own boy conductor, they 
get a glimmering of the difficulties you have with (hem — and 
that is no bad thing. In some schools it is the custom to 
have solo competitions as well. These I venture todoubt the 
good effects of. Surely it la better to keep the vocalist's vanity 
out of the hoy as long as possible. I believe the value of 
school songs lies only in fostering a patriotic love of the school 
and a healthy esprit de corps. When I am told that they 
foster musical taste I permit myself to smile incredulously. 

You will notice that I have said nothing about instrumental 
mu^. The fact is there is little of interest to be said abotit 
it. A great many boys take piano, oi organ, or violin lessons, 
but in the vast majority of cases, I fear, to little or no 
purpose. Of course, you will, here and there, come across a 

Music in Our Public Schools. 

bright particular star who really likes it snd h:is a real jjift 
for it, and in his case the teaching is a plcasiirt; and rusiills 
in good work ; but if among the fifty hoys you see during the 
course of the week there are two of his kind and llie majority 
of the others come grudgingly and play liideous discords 
while they are with you, you are apt to yearn for some less 
protracted form of death. This is Ihe seamy side of the 
music- master's work. He has to coax and cajole and drive 
his pupils to the piano. When they are practisinj^ he lias to 
keep his ears open in four or five differi:nt directions, lest, 
while they should be grappling with a minor scale, they are 
indulging in a debauch of music hall tuntf; or roasting cLest- 
nuts over the music-room fire, Ajid uhfjii all's done, and 
you have sent your pupil home with a Sonatina well ground 
into him, you will hear that your headmaster has received an 
angry letter from a stem parent, in which youi accomplish- 
ments as a teacher are alluded to in terms the reverse of 
complimentary because dear Alfred has only learnt one piece, 
and that a piece with no tune in it. 

And now, finally, what is the effect of a music -master's 
work in a public school upon the mu^ic-masler himself? and 
ought a young man embarking upon an artiblic career to 
take such a posl ? 

The work, ladies and gentlemen, is unceasing drudgery. 
The materifil you work in is constantly changing, and you 
have no sooner climbed the hill than you find yourself at the 
bottom again, with, the summit as far off as ever. You have 
trained your choir to a pitch approaching perfection. The 
holidays come, and at the beginning of the new term you 
find that all your trebles have broken their voices, that your 
tenors and basses have left school, and that you axe expected 
to give a concert in six weeks' time with absolutely raw 
recruits. You have got to drum every separate note of the 
solos into every separate soloist and you may find that the 
boy with the heavenlies^t treble voice is the biggest fool in 
the scliool. You must never be impatient, or ill-humoured, 
or tired, and you must get your work in, as I have said, 
whenever you see a chance. 

If you fiave the misfortune to be unpopular with the boys 
you may as well go and hang yourself at once, for however 
delightful an individual Briti^ boy is, he is the very fiend 
when he gets together and doesn't like you. At the same 
time, if you show him you are trying lo make yourself popular, 
you are lost past redemption. On the other hand, if you are 
popular, if you are good-tempered and patient, if you can 
get the boy to see tliat you take yourself in earnest and take 
him in earnest, if you are elastic and can preserve discipline 
without being a martinet, and dignihr without making your- 
self ridiculous, the work is delignlful. You have virgin scnl 

Music in Our Public Schoob. 


to work in, you have one master — the headmaster — to please, 
you can mould your material just as you like — and Ohl think 
of the luxury 1 you can bully your quartet of soloists into 
singing the music precisely as it is written. My advice to a 
youufj musician would be— Go to a public scliool for five 
years. You will learn how to conduct, you will learn how 
to keep the attention of a choir fixed on you ; for if you can 
make a choir of English public schoolboys pay attention to 
your beat, you are ready for any emergency. You irill have 
to conduct all manner of works, you will become a practical 
musician in the widest sense, you will lead a very jolly life, 
and you will play an excellent hand at whist. You will 
make friends who will be staunch and loyal to you through- 
out their lives, and the constant companionship of your 
juniors will keep you young, will keep you liigh-minded, will 
keep your lips clean. At the end of your five years you will 
leave your post younger than wLeji j on Liccupled it, and you 
will be fitted for any responsible po^iiiiiii. Bui if you have 
any creative facuHy or any personal ambition, I should say 
do not stay longer than five years, fur you will be able to 
exercise neither in a public scIkioI. And do not dream of 
taking the post unless you are strong and enthusiastic. The 
secret of success in public school music is enthusiasm, and 
again enthusiasm, and once more enthusiasm. 

The Chairman.— My firet duty is to ask you to cany a 
very hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Parker for his kindness in 
preparing and reading this paper. When 1 saw the subject 
on Its announcement 1 had a thought that it might be a 
little dry, but on reading the name of the lecturer I knew 
that nothing he said could possibly be dry. Mr. Parker 
began by saying he knew little or nothing about the subject, 
but he knows a great deal, and has put the paper before us, 
not in a pedantic way, but in a complete and thorough 
fashion. We can now understand how he succeeded in 
interesting his boys. He seems to have accomplished his 
task in a marvellous way. Mr. Parker has put before us a 
very high ideal and we who are teachers do well to listen to 

I have often felt we do not sufficiently consider that our 
chief work in teaching amateurs is to train them as members 
of audiences, even more than as performers. Of course they 
must be tiained to a certain extent as peribrrners. We 
ought to teach them the difference between the good and the 

Music in Our Public Schools. 

bad, and that it is wiong for them to listen to and enjoy bad 
music. An instance of what can be done ivith pupils was 
brought under my notice in the case of a boy who began 
studying the violin at seven years of age. He took Sjxihr's 
school, and played the carlj' exercises on the open string, 
with second violin part for the master. He played three or 
four of these with great enjoyment, and one evening it 
happened that a violmist was at the house. "So you are 
learning these exercises of Spohr," said be. " Ezerdses," 
replied the youngster, " I don't know. I am learning the 
pitcts." He had no idea that there was anything dry in 
them, and realized that though simple they were yet tHautiful. 
Once when we were arrans'inti ;i LiiULi^ri I received a 
message from the pupils begging they might sing Pergolesi's 
Stabat Mater," because they all thought it was the most 
beautiful thing they had ever studied. This shows how one 
can influence pupils in the right direction. Mr. Parker said 
that the chronicle of works performed at Sherborne might 
strike us as " small beer." As he read that list it seemed to 
me to be anj^hing but "small beer." It wasan excellent list. 
(The vote of thanks was then passed unanimousl;'). 
Rev. M. E. Brownb. — The lecturer said that public school 
music began about twenty years ago ; as a matter of fact it 
began nearly forty. I believe the first public school musical 
society was startcii at H.iriow, about the middle of 1857; 
those who formed it -,vrre .ilwnjs under the impression that 
Harrow was the first school to move in this direction, but 
on that point I am not absolutely certain. Of course music, 
everywhere, was a very different thing then to what it is 
now; and it was coDsidered something (juite out of the 
ordinary way foi a schoolboy to play an mstrument — that 
was regard^] as rather eliminate, with a suspicion of the 
improper— and the idea of a schod. musical society was so 
unheard of that we could not get the use of any of the school 
rooms for practice or concerts, but had to taJce refuge with 
the " Young Men's Society " and the National schools. I 
have here all the progtammes of concerts given between 
1S5S and 1861, and I Qiink they show clearly enough that, 
eletnentaiy as we were in those days, our teacher— Mr. 
Bradbury Turner — was working on much the same principles 
as those laid down by the reader of the paper to-night. From 
Mr. Turner the society passed into the hands of Mr. John 
Farmer, and when he left, to carry his musical enthusiasm 
into Bailiol College, Oxford, he was succeeded by Mr. Eaton 

Our first concert, however, given in July, 1858, was given 
under the b^on of none of these ; the gentleman who led us 
is dead long ^ce, so I may revive an in ddeat which took 
place at that, the first concert ever given the jrst school, 

Music in Our Public Schools. 

we believed, that ever had a musical society. The pro- 
gramme opened bravely with " Pastoral" Symphony 
( Beethoven). But it was not Beethoven as we know hiro now. 
It was an arrangement for family use by Hutchins Calcott 
(a name better known in those dajrs than bj^ this generation ; 
but I can recommend, aa a cure for iow spirits on a wet after- 
noon, the study of that gentleman's version of Mendelssohn's 
" Scotch" Symphony). Our conductorledthe first violins; the 
second violin opening (entrusted then to the English con- 
certina) had safely arrived at a point when the first should 
have joined in, when the conductor suddenly stopped us all, 
exclaiming, " I say, wait a bit, you chaps, here's some silly 
fool been a-fingerin' my fiddlestick ! " Well, it is easy 
enough now to laugh at such a commencement of school 
music as that, but when we are talking of what is being done 
now I hope one of a past school generation may be excused 
for reminding you that, but for our beginnings, you could not 
be doing now what we must all be glad to hear is being done 
in the direction of music in public schools. 

Mr. SroLEY Taylor.— We must have all observed that Mr. 
Parker has spoken in his paper from his own personal 
observation and not from secondary sources. I, too, happen 
to be rather favourably situated for knowing what is done in 
vocal instruction at the great public schools. As an officer 
of the Cambridge University Musical Society, 1 have for 
some Tears taken part in testing the qualifications of 
candidates for admission to its chorus. O! the students who 
come to the University from ilie great public schools, a very 
small proportion — not, I think, more than three or four per 
cent. — seek membership in our chorus. Of those who do, very 
few have learned sight-singing at school, and some barely 
know their notes. They may have sung anthems in their 
school choir, but the music has been mainly drummed into 
them by ear. I wish it were possible that a little pressure 
could be brought to bear upon public school music-masters 
to instruct their pupils systematically in sight-singing. Not 
only in the public schools should this be done, but also in 
the preparatory schools, unless, indeed, the well-to-do classes 
are content to see their own expensively taught children 
humiliatingly outstripped in sight-singing by the children in 
the elementary schools. It would be also a good thing to 
insist upon music being made a regular department of school 
education, instead of teachers having, as now, to in5til it 
almost by Blealth into the boys. In English schools I fear 
there is still some of the old feeling that music is a rather 
despicable art. An old Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, 
once remarked to me, many years ago; " Music is a ve^ nice 
amusement for a man who can't afford to hunt." That feeling 
is sliU, perhaps, represented among us. We should make 

Music in Our Public Schools. 

some assault upon the public schools in order to get the boys' 
musical education put on a more satisfactory footing. 

Mrs. Brownlow. — I hope that we shali get a little 
assistance in the instruction of girls In the public schools. It 
is, iiowever, to the headmaster or mislress to whom we have 
to look for encouragement. As for making music one of the 
r^ular features of ihe school I hope tht same rule wil! apply 
to girls as to boys. 

Mr. J. Gra:[.\m. — Some time ago it was my duty to visiit 
nine or ten public schools and report on the music on behalf 
of a music paper. I began with Sherborne because I had 
heard of its high quality. After going through the other 
schools I looked back upon it with the greatest pleasnie, for 
1 saw nowhere was such a high ideal aimed at, nor nhere a 
larger proportion of the boys took actual practice in muBic 
1 was very much struck with one pleasant feature at Sher- 
borne, that the Sunday afternoons were so well <x:cupied 
with oratorio performances. What I heard was very good. 
To get true musical work one must make it pleasing to the 
boys. I feet also that we should instil into the minds of the 
lads what the influence of music ically is. Music is a thing 
that laats through life ; cricket and football are generally 
thrown over when a man reaches twenty-dght or thirty, and 
what has he to look back upon or forward to 7 If music 
were put into the boy when young he would have something 
to enjoy throughout life. With regard to the instrumental 
work spoken of by Mr. Parker, it seems really surprising, the 
large number of boys taking up some kind of instnmient 
being most gratifying. At the Stratford Musical Festival, 
held a few weeks ago, however, we had about 140 entries in 
the pianoforte competitions. All these, with three or four 
exceptions, were girls. I believe in boys and singers 
generally being taught to have some acquaintance with 
music, and being able to tell when a thing was out of 
tune or not. Also they should be able to look at a score and 
tell whether they like it at once before hearing it performed. 
You will find in the Board Schools there are children who 
can look at a piece of music and say whether they like it. 
At Board Schools the cliiidren leave about thirteen and go 
out into the world. At the public schools the boys stop on 
until they are seventeen 01 eighteen, and many go up to the 
Universities. Surely they have a better chance of becoming 
musiciaos, being in the hands of teachers for so much longer, 
than the Board School children. If music was made an 
essential subject we should soon hear less about boys having 
no ears or voices. 

Mrs. Wbbstsr. — It is jterfectly wonderful to see the wa^ 
children are taught music in Board Schools, and it is 
astonishing to hear the little ones read from the board a 

piece which, ([uitc new to them, ha^ just been put up by their 
teacher. Surely the same thing can be done by other 
children. At present it is chiefly because music with the 
appei classes is not loolied upon as a part of education that 
it IS not so. People have yet to be taught that music is as 
scientific as other subjects. 

Mr. South GATE. —The question raised bv Mr, Sedley Taylor 
as to why there should be more musical children in the Board 
School classes than there are in the f^rral public schools, 
who come up to the Universities ready and anxious to join 
the Instrumtntal and Vocal Unions, is soon answered. The 
reason is very plain and simple. It is that in the case of 
tliese lower schools there is a musical trainiog- provided by 
the Stale, and for which education the State pays a. sum of 
;fi7o,ooo a year. Properly trained, the children leave these 
schools carrying away with them a love of music that 
permeates their whole life. Unfortunately this is not done 
in public srhools. I am certain that i£ we insisted upon 
levelling down, as well as levelling up, a love for music 
would penetrate the whole of the people, and we should be 
more musical. Music should have as much attention in 
schools as other subjects, and if we could only bring pressure 
to bear upon the authorities the whole position would be 
altered. The chief difficulty rests not so much with the 
abihties of the music teacher, as on the fact that music 
occupies no pari ol the ciuricuhim. It has given me very 
much pleasure to listen to this paper. We have learned a 
great deal from Mr. Parkers well directed, stcadv. and 
enthusiastic work. Ihc list of pieces he read was indeed no 
"small beer." I feel confident that some considerable time 
must have been occupied in the practice, and before his band 
could play Wagner's music and Beethoven's Symphonies. 
In most schools, unfortunately, the time for practice is just the 
time for play. If you tell a boy to grind at the violin or the 
pianofbrte Un an honron a fine afternoon when his fellows 
are out of doors, you know pretty, well what his reply will 

Miss Carter. — A great deal of good could undoubtedly be 
done by musicians and teachers organizing, and then appeal- 
ing to the headmasters or mistresses for something to he 
done for music. 

Mr. SouTHGATE. — There is such a society for musicians — 
viz., the Incorporated Society of Musicians; there is also a 
scheme for the registration of musicians, which may possibly 
effect some change. In all school work it is very necessaiy 
lo have someone who can teach properly. I heard a per- 
fectly true story recently in connection with a school musical 
society. A portion of a symphony was going to be done (all 
the difficult parts had been left out). At the rehearsal there 

Music in Our Public Schools. 

was a horrid noise going on. The schoolmaster — not a 
true music -teacher — who conducted, exclaimed that he was 
certain there was something wiong with the clarinet. " Let 
me look at your part," he said, and when he got it he 
exclaimed, " Well, I am surprised I What stnpid ignorant, 
people these publishers are, they have sent us down a wrong 
part. Why the clarinet has been playing in B flat while 
the rest of the orchestra, ts playing in C>" I beg to Bay 
that this is quite a true story, and it ^ws what sort of 
teachers are employed at ^least at one of our great public 

Mr. Graham. — In my investigations I found that music- 
masters never had an opportunity of meeting one another at 
their schools. The Incorporated Society and registration 
are all very useful in their way, but 1 am certain they will 
not help the masters in this matter. They will have to go 
with very great tact to the headmaster if they wish nluac to 
take its proper place among other studies. 

Mr. Gilbert Webb. — What is necessary is the establish- 
ment of a school for the teaching of teachers. 

The Chairman. — One great difficulty in the way of includ- 
ing music amongst the ordinary subjects of the curriculum 
is due to our examination system, by which our course of 
education must inevitably be regulated. Before anything 
really useful can be accomplished the harmony examinations 
must be made practical. At present the mater number of 
candidates who pass have no conception of the sound of the 
chords they write. They go through their work mechanically, 

C)t as if it were so much arithmetic : write common chords — 
sanote, third and fifth — do not write two perfect fifths in 
succession, because they have been taught it is wrong ia do 
so ; but have never heard and realised the bad efiect of tliose 
fifths. Thus the examinations absolutely discourage ear- 
training, which lies, of course, at the root of all thorough 
teaching. It was encouraging to hear the necessity of 
special training for teachers again alluded Co; to me it is 
one of Che distinct signs of our musical progress that at 
almost every meeting, such as this to-night, the subject 
crops up. 

Mr. Parker. — I do not think that you will find great 
difficulty in having music introduced as an ordinary part of 
the curriculum at a public school. But you will remember 
that the boys' time Is already cut up into so many pieces 
that he really has only just opportunity to have his meals. 
As for the spread of ear-teaching, I had a little test for boys 
who came to Sherborne. I used to play " Sun of my Soul," 
and afterwards " God save the Queen." I then asked the 
lad if there was any diSerence Detween them. If he said 
"no" I gave him my bles^ng and sent him away. If he 

Mtaie in Our PuUie Sckooli. 


bbM " yes " I took him. Reapectii^ the musiomastcTs at a 
public school I think it depends on the individuality and " go." 
The most accomplished youi^ musician may be sent down 
&oin the Academy or the Royal College and yet fail to do 
anything with the boys. It rests entirely with the enthusiasm 
put into the boy, afterwards you can do what you like mth 
him. The music at Sherborne was perhaps not scientifically 
taught, it was taught from the heart. About thirty of my 
one hundred boys read music with facility, another thirty 
could read without facility, and the rest would not be able 
to read at all. You have to use discretion and make those 
who read help those who cannot. 

H. C. BANISTER, Esfl., 
Ik thb Chair. 

Bv D. J. Blaikley. 
Ar a recent meeting I accepted a suggestion made by a 
member of our Council, and agreed to put together a few 
notes on the trumpet scale, at the time believing that these 
notes would merely fill up the few miniites lliat miglil remain 

iiiid thai Illy lew remarks are to ptovidc the wliole subject- 
matter for this evening's meeting, and can only trust that 
you will accept them rather as suggestions for discussion and 
exchange of views, than as forming a paper such aa thoa^ to 
whicli you are accustomed. 

The expression " the scale of nature," or " the natural 
scale," is sometimes used as if it implied a precise dehnit ion ; 

in their minds the n^xtural harmonic scale, while others apply 
it to our modern major diatonic scale, which, although com- 
prised in the former, does not coincide with it note for note. 

If by the words " natural scale" we understand a succession 
of notes produced by natural' phenomena, oi from natural 
objects as distinguished from carefully constructed musical 
L little investigation in acoustics soon shows 
B m.inv n.itural scales, of which one is the 

that it 

natural law tnat iiie wave oriL'inatui 
vibration [leiiariH irom inii simi>iii uuu 
the resultmg vibration is that oue to i 
partials sounding with their prime, 
easily beam uv mi::i[is oi resonaiors. 

As an exneriment a tiiDe. such as an ordinary lamp 
chimney, mav Dc oartJv simK in a lug of water, and ihe ear 
held close Dv it wmie a mcumm or low pitched note is sui^; 
or playcfl. As the oxDosed length ot tubeisTaned, difEerent 
partials can easily ue iieuro. 

A student who has experimented with his Own voice and 
such a resonator for hall-an-hour, cannot lail to be impressed 
with the fact that the source of the harmonic scale is truly 

Notes on the Trumpti Scali. 

natural, and his impressions wiil probably be so vivid that 
he will be convinced of the futility of ignoring the existence 
of this scaJe in the study of harmony. 

Inharmonic natural scales or sequences of notes may be 
heard in the clanging of masses of metal, or in the tones 
produced by the striking of plates or bars of regular dimen- 
sions, strained membranes, &c. In some cases both the 
harmonic and an inharmonic scale are pven off simul- 
taneously, as when a light tuning-fork is struck. 
■ Experiment : A fork, c ia8, on being struck and held 
successively over resonators tuned to its prime, octave, and 
twelfth, c, c', g', excites the resonators to respond to these 
partials, and in tiiis case the harmonic components of tlie tone- 
mass are due merely to the comparatively great amplitude of 
the vibration of the fork ; th^ are set up outside the fork ; 
and the one or more inharmomc coiwonents arise from the 
subBidiaiy vibratioDe of the fork itsetf as an elastic bar. 

From such instruments as the trumpet, as is well known, 
we obtain the best practical rendering of the natural harmonic 
scale, and I have therefore headed tliis paper, "Notes on the 
Trumpet Scnle." At Ihu same [i[iu:, I ivould avoid committing 
myself to the view that thtj notus on the trumpet neces- 
sarily follow the harmonic series ; as a matter of fact, the 
lower notes diverge considerably from it. The explanation 
of the causes for this divergence would, however, take us too 
far awi^ from the points I pEorticularly wish toliring before 
you. The use of the term " The Trumpet Scale " is merely 
to enable us to pass from the abstract to the concrete in the 
consideration of the harmonic scale. 

Perhaps the most striking feature about this scale is the 
varying effect upoti our ear of successive increments of equal 
numbers of vibrations. In nature's wonderful way, similarity 
and variety are interwoven. If we start with the lowest F 
on the piano of about 4.5 vibrations and trace up the intervals 
lying between successive additions of 45 vibrations, we find 
that this difference when added to the prime gives the octave 
(the most decisive and easily recognised of all intervals) and 
causes an alteration of only about a quarter-semitone in the 
t^per part of the sixth octave (63 to 64), a difference which 
to many ears might eadly pass unnoticed. 

The difference between the values of adjacent intervals, 

which is very manifest to the car in the lower part of the 
scale, octave, fifth, fourth, Slc. i^ It^ts apprccia.hlE as we rise, 
and yet, I submit, should not bi; ignored wIh'ti tht phy<;ical 
basis of music is under considcratiou. Thi: centra! fact is 
that no two succeeding intervals are alike, and to this 
reference will again be made. 

Another important point to bear in mind is that no suc- 
ces»on of similar intervals lyii^ within an octave can 

Notes OH the Trumpet Scale. 

produce an octave or a multiple of octaves ; whether we 
take perfect fifths, perfect fourths, major or minor thirds, 
major or ininor tones, there is the same difficulty. For 
instance, a. succession of three major thirds is less than 
an octave, and a succession of four minor thirds (f)* is 
greater than an octave. 

As r^ards the identity between certain of natural 
harmonics and the notes of the common chord, there is no 
difference of opinion; it is only when die derivation of the 
subordinate notes of the diatonic scale from the harmtmic 
scale is under examination that some rather strained applica- 
tions of the science of numbers are apt to creep m. In 
science and art, we usually espect to find theory more 
rigorous than practice; but in this matter of the diatonic 
scale we find that arguments have been suggested in theories, 
which no conductor would tolerate if put into practice in his 

We may here compare a few numerical values. The 
octave, fifth, fourth, major third, and minor third, as defined 
by the ratios, }, j, J, f, are definitely accepted. The tone 
is a term more vaguely used, and either the major or the 
minor tone is equally entitled to the description " natural 
tone." The term " natural semitone" is still more indefinite, 
for there is nothing more natural about the interval l}dng 
between the fifteenth and sixteenth harmonics {the interval 
usually called the "natural semitone") than there is about 
any other natural interval which is approximately a 
semitone. Indeed, the interval ^ has less claim to be called 
a semitone than any one of the other six given with it in the 
following table : — 

Tablb of SsuitoHBS. 
Grafdiic representation of intervals as eicpiessed by 
logarithms of ratios. 

Ii8 Nola on Iht Trumpet Scale. 

of Riiio. 

loEerval in 

EqnivmlEnt VbIdb. 

b to c 




c .0 ct 

Eq. temp, semitone. 

c# to d 




d to dt 
d#to e 

{ Fourth, less two 
i major tones, or 
I Greek hemi-tone. 

The perfect fourth, ratio J, is not to bo found in the har- 
monic scale, in the position in which it placed as tlie sub- 
dominant in the diatonic scale. As Dr. Pole justly puis the 
matter, " natural harmonics give no suggestion of a fourth 
above the fundamental." The attempt to connect this note 
with the eleventh harmonic, the trumpet / (so-called), is one of 
those strained applications of theory to which I have alluded. 
Let us compare tne numbers : they are 10^ against 11, or in 
whole numbers 32 against 33. If we talte the low piano F of 
45 vibrations as generator, we have 480 against 495, a differ- 
ence of 15 vibrations in that part of the scale io which a 
difference of about 30 vibrations is the most unbearable pos- 
sible. I am far from saying that the eleventh harmonic may 
nut be a (food thing in itself; it exists, and we cannot avoid 
liearing it, wlietlier we do SO with consciousness of its pres- 
ence or not, but it should no more be contouniled with the siib- 
dominant than scarlet should be confounded with crimson. 
I will here quote a few words from the late Sir George 
Macfarren's Preface to Day's Harmony, words which appeal 
to me to be admirable in tliemselves, and yet sti snf;ely at 
variance with some points in llie theory he was then intro- 
ducing and comnieiidini;. Thf words are: "1 [or one am 
thankiul lo equal Knipeti.nif.iil lor the music it renders 
practicable upon iieveil instniiiici'.ts : but although I bow to 
the necessitj- of limiting the sounds within an octavo to 12, 
I insist that this expedient conventionality alFects not the 
laws of nature upon which alone sound theory can be based, 
and that the student ought to Itnow what should be, though 
forced to practise what mmt be." 

Notts on lha Trumpit Scalt. iig 

AJthough the subdomiaant does not exist in tlie harmonic 

series, and although we cannot (at least in my opinion) 
properly take the eleventh harmonic as a substilute for it, 
yet there is no difficulty in finding every note of the diatonic 
scale in the harmonic series if we give up the idea of the 
tonic being the generator or root of the scale. The first 
perlect fuiirlh on the harmonic scale is given by its third and 
fourth notes. If we carry the series up so as lo iiicliidu the 
octave between the twenty-fourth and the forty-eighth har- 
monics we can choose from these harmonics the eif;ht notes 
of the major diatonic scale in absolutely just intonation 
and without any " oookinj; " of fi|rurcs at all. 

To some minds, tlie idea of having to look for the true 
tonic or generator in the subdomiiiant will be an objection 
to this view of the source of the diatonic scale, but to those 
who remember how modem, comparatively speaking, and 
how purely_ arbitral^ in its selection of harmonics our diatonic 
scale ia, this objection mil not seem very serious. Although 
Rameau does not appear to have boldly built his theory 
upon this view, he comes very near it when he says : " The 
succession ot fifths, fa, ut, sol, in which ut holds the middle 
place, may be regarded as representing the mode of ut," 

A more pertinent objection is perhaps to be found in the 
fact that notes lying so high in the series could never have 
been habitually produced from any known instrument in 
such a way as to suggest ihe scale. 

Another view may be considered. The natural harmonic 

red by differe 

i. absolutt 

derived bv the eve from the arrangcmeiil soon lessens : the 
law determinincr the intervals is, as it were, too obtrusive, 
and ihere is a cravinir lor a liitle vatitiv in the symmetry. 
Some such impression as this may bo convevod to the ear by 
[he harmonic scale. leadmg lo a desire for variaiion. consistent 

.and not inconsistent with law. It has been argued, t think, 
tibat certain notes of the harmonic scale, as the seventh and 
the eleventh, are inadmissible, because they stand in the 
way ot the definition of the scale ; but I venture to think that 
the real reason may be, that they define the scale or law of 
sequence too stronj^ly and exclude even the bare idea of 
transition or modulation. 

If we, instead of selecting the notes requisite to form the 
diatonic scale of C from among the higher harmonica of the 
generator F, choose some from F and some from C, we 

.obtain the complete scale from the lower harmonicE, some of 
the notes being common to Ixith natural scales. 

Notes on tht Trumpet Seatt. 

Dialooie Scale of C, 

Hamiinilc Haimonic Scales Humanic 

Scale of C of C >nd P. Saie of P. 

13 b... 

B — B K 9 

(trumpet f) 

g d d 'e" 7 

7 nj' 
6 g 

a 5 
I 4 

Comparing the ooles 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, orf, if, e, trumpet /,g, 
harmonic scale, with 8, g, 10, lof, iz, or c, d, e,/, g, diatonic 
scale, we tind that by the former we are more tied up to the 
idea of the generator than by the latter ; the subdominant 
introduced into the diatonic scale suggests to the ear the 
possibility of escapiiif; from a too rigid adherence to one 

Since the time of the GrcciiB, European music has seen 
the perfect fourth divided into two tones and a semitone, 
but it nay &irly be a question in the histoiy of muBica] 
science whether thie highly artificial division is the oldest. 
The late Cail Eogel held the opinion that wind ioBtruments 

Notts on tkt Trumptt Sealt. 

have a historica] precedence over string instruments, and 

when we remember that the production of good strings and 
souudboatds indicates a tolerably high stags of civilisation, 
this opinion seems a sound one. Probably instruments of 
the horn and trumpet kind prectded lyres and harps, and on 
horns, the second and the third fourths, which comprise 
smaller intervals, are thus divided : — 

6. 7.8 — 9.10,11,12 

fourth fourth. 
It IB not unreasonable to suppose that such dividons of 
the fourth would be accented and copied on other 
instruments. As an opportunity of putting this idea to the 
teat, I examined with much interest the Egyptian flutes 
discovered by Mr. Flinders Petrie, and found that on one of 
them tlie interya! uf liic fourti, wii^ divided txiictly it is 

Again, we find this sub-division of the fourth s.uiviviiijj on 
the Highland bagpipe chanter, according to the best measure- 
ments 1 have been able to melee, and it is to the lowest note 
of the tetrachord that the drones are tuned in octaves. 
The drones are in A, and on the chanter the G may have 
been added below, much in the same way as the Greeks 
added a tone below thdr lowest tetrachord. 

In concluding these notes I would remind members of the 
Association that much interesting matter bearing upon the 
subject has been brought before them in papers by the 
late Mr. C. E. Stephens, by Mr. Prout, Mr. Gerard Cobb, 
Mr. Bieakspeare, and by other members. 

The Ceaikmam. — I am exceedingly sorn' that a paper 

Kepaxed with such care and learning as that to which we 
ve listened has not been heard by more of our members. 
I will ask those present to give our best thanks to Hr. 
Blaikley for his admirable address. 

(A vote of thanks was unanimously passed.) 
The Chairman.— Did I understand rightly about that 
question of the difference of the octaves, that you attribute it 
to the temperament of the tuning of the piano, or do you 
mean to the natural octaves ? 

Mr. Bla:kley. — I was merely speaking of the effect of 
increments of equal numbers ol vibrations, a given number 

* Hnucal AuodMlon reports, Se»on iSgD.91, p. 31. 

Noles on the Trumpet Scale. 

in the lower pait of the scale causing so very dilTercnt aa 
impression upon the ear to the same number in the upper 
part. There is no question of temperament. 

Mr. GlLBRT Webb. — I do not think I quite understand 
Mr. Blaikley about harmonic and inharmonic tones being 
generated from a sonorous body at the same time. 

Mr. Blaikley. — I purposely omitted that point because it 
would take a long time to explain. It is rcaily a mailer of 
mechanics rather than of music. If a vibratmg body, such 
as a tumng fork, makes a ver\' small excursion in comparison 
with the Icne-lh of tlie wave, tho resulting wave is one of 
simple pi^ndular form— that is to i;av. Chf^re are no har- 
monics in it. If. on the other hand, tlu; fork or any other 
body makes a large excursion in originating the sound 
wave, the form of that wave would be one that can be 
resolved into several component parts. It is a, question of 

Mr. WBBB. — It IS interestmg to find that our modem 
diatonic scale am>roaches so closely some fbims of the scales 
of the ancient ^yptians. and it seems leasooable to infer 
that our major scale is based on the harmonic scale of nature, 
as producible from a pipe, Sc. If so, it is a strong argument 
in favour of the theory that the use of pipes preceded the 
employment of stretched strings as musical instruments. At 
the same time it appears to me that we sometimes attribute 
too much importance to the scales. They exist in dilferent 
parts of the world in great variety, and in many cases are 
obviously the outcome of certain melodic intervals, which 
have been adopted by men under various conditions, as the 
best musical expression of their emotions. In other words, 
although ail scales may have a common origin in nature's 
scale, their subsequent different forms have resulted from 
general aaoption of certain melodic phrases or idioms. 
Ccrmn 1 f I n by greater 

intcrnl ti ! lit pi L I il t the smaller 

int ri 1 t 1 a i 1 1 t I i dictated by a 

desire to obtain certain emotional expression, rather than by 
the wish to complete a scale, or by conscious imitation of 
the smaller intervals of the harmonic column. Scales, in 
fact, vary in form with different generations of men, and 
would seem to be dependent on climate and the mode of 
thought of certain periods. Hence it is probable that one 
or two notes only in any scale are really attributable to the 
harmonic scale of nature. 

Mr. Nayloh.- — One of the most interesting things that I 
heard was Che scale played upon that pipe. Did I under- 
stand the scale of the chanter to be the same as that of the 
Egyptian flute as far as it goes ? 

Mr, Blaiklby. — As far as it goes. 

NoUi on Ihi Trumpet Scale. 


Mr. Webh, — Is there any great variety of intervals in the 

bii;!pipe scale ? 

Mr. lii,Aih;i.Ky.— DifTcrent chanters vary a little. I should 
iir]<l that my remarks are based upon mean results from the 
insfriimeiils I have myself tried and compared with results 
quoted by the late Mr. A, J, Ellis. It is confusing in hearing 
them played, and difficult to determine the intervals without 
measurement, because one is not accustomed to them, bat 
the pipers, who are. seem perfectly satisfied with them, and 
can easily discern s1ip;ht departures from their standard. 

Miss Pbkscott. — I cannut reiiiember whether the chanter 
has tlic m^jor third or minor third ? 

Mr. Blaikz.ey.— It is between the two, but rather nearer 
the minor third than the major. 

The Chairman.— There is a great vagueness about that 
third I We must again thank Mr. Blaikley for giving us so 
valuable a paper, which will be worth reading. 

JUMI 11, 1894. 

SIR JOHN STAINER, Mus. Doc, President, 
In the Chair. 



By Jaubs Higqs, Mus. Bac, Oxoa, 

The peiiod covered by the life of Samuel Wesley, 1766- 
x83_7, ia remarkable in the history of modern music, following, 
as it did, close on the time of Each and Handel, and being 
coincident, as it was, with the times of all the most illustrious 
of Chose composers whose worlti; havp hpconip our classical 
heritage. To have been eminent amid such surtoundings as he 
lived in implies much, and I hope may justify my endeavour 
to engage your attention and interest while I speak for a 
short time this evening upon the lile, times, and influence of 
Samuel Wesley. 

Samuel Wesley was descended from a family whicli for 
several generations had shown many high qualities : force of 
character and determination in the pursuit of objects of 
worthy ambition being conspicuous leatures. 

There will not be time to trace with any degree of com- 
pleteness the pedigree of the subject of this paper, but it may 
be stated that his grandfather was Samuel Wesley, the 
Rector for forty yearsof Epwoith,in Lincolnshire. His grand- 
mother was the twenty-fourth and yoiingtst child of Dr. 
Annersley, a Nonconformist preacher of fjjndon. The 
Rector of Jipworth and his wife were the parents of nineteen 
children, several of whom died in their infancy. The most 
important of the survivors were : — 

Samuel, bora i6go, the eldest son ; 

John, born 1703, the founder of Methodism ; and 

Charles, born 1707, the &thei of Chailes and Samuel 
Wesley, the musicians. 

Readers of the memorials of the Wesley family will learn 
muchof iaterest concerning thegiand&thei and grandmother. 

ia6 Samuel WnUy: HU Life, Timet, and hijliieiice on Musi 

They had many struggles incident to a small income and a 
large family, which they met with heroic spirit, the liusbanil 
striving to increase his narrow income by the exercise of his 
unquestionable literary ability, and especially by the practice 
of versification, if not by the exhibition of poetic genius in 
its higher flights. His wife was diligent and successful in 
the education of their children, grounding them in classical 
as well as general knowledge, and preparing them to win 
their way to educational advantages ; thus the eldest son, 
Samuel, became usher of Westminster School, and ultimately 
Headmaster of Tiverton Grammar School~the school 
celebrated in " Lorna Doone," the school to which John Ridd 
was sent ; many will remember the account he, John Ridd, 
gives of this school. He says : — 

My father being of good subelancB, al leasi as we ceckon In Exmoor, 
and eeiied In bis own rieht fiom many guHationB of one and that ths 
best and largeai of tbe three fanns into which our Pari >h ia divided, or 
rather the culloied part thereof, he, John Ridd theeids, Chmdiwarden 

hie own name, aenl me, his only ion, to be schooled at Tiverton in the 
county of Devon, For the cliicf boaM of Ili.n ancitnl town (next to its 

England, fouodcd and liaiidaonii:lv tQdoi>i:d' in Ihu year 1604 by Master 
Peter Biundell of Ihji place, dotW-T. 

To the headmastership of this important school Samuel, the 
eldest sou of the Rector of Epwcrth, was appointed in 1732 ; 
but hefore this, wliile yet usher at Westminster, he had been 
forward in helping in the more advanced education of his 
younger brothers, John and Charles. Charles, at the age of 
eight, was taken by his brother Samuel and supported at 
Westminster School, until at the age of twelve he was elected 
on the foundation as a King's scholar. When nineteen years 
of age Charles proceeded by election to Christ Church, 
Oxford (this was in 1726). Shortly after coming of age he 
took his B.A. and became engaged as a tutor at Oxford. 
About 171^ he was appointed secretary to General Ogle- 
thorpe, who was engaged in the colonization of Georgia. 
He made a jaurnev to that settlement, but soon returned, 
bnnging home despatches to the London Committee, 
aenous illness prevenied the intenued return of Charles 
Wesley to Georgia, and on his recovery he began to devote 
his life to preaching (he haa been otdainea previous to his 
journey to Georiiriai. His zeal was vcrv Rrear. and soon 
el S I \ fl t,ton 

by whom he was a,.,..-i.Ue«l rur.ite in that parish. This, it is 
1 a I \ 1 Id 

in the Church of kngiana. although tiiroughout nis life he 
ever remamed a firm adlierent of the Church. This, how- 
ever, did not prevent hini from assoaatmg himself with his 
brother John m his evangelical labours. He took to field 

Samuel WesUy: His Life, Times, and Influence on Music. 127 

preaching, while yet engaged preaching in a course of 
sermons before the University of Oxford, and is said 
frequently to have addressed as many as ten thousand people 
in Moorlields and on Kennington Common. 

The course of his labours took hira to Bristol, where he 
met his brother on one of his preaching tours, and was by 
him left in charge of the Society in Bristol, and commenced 
a. career of usefulness in that city which extended over a 
period of thirty years, 

Charles Wesley was, as is well known, a voluminous hymn 
writer. About 1739 he published his first collection of hymns, 
and the composition of liymiis and sacred odes became one 
of his daily occupations. 

In April, 1749, C Wesley married Miss Gwynne, of Garth, 
in Wales ; towards the end of the same year he took a small 
house in Bristol. From the time of his marriage and for over 
twenty years Mr. Wesley and his wife nominally lived in 
BtistM, although he habitually spent nearly ten months out 
of the twelve in London. 

The Rev. Charles Wesley and his wife had several children, 
some dying in infancy ; there survived three ; Charles Wesley, 
bom 1757 ; Sarah, horn 1759 ; and Bamncl, the hero of this 
paper, born February 24, 1766. The identity of date, 
February 24, with that of the birth of Handel some eighty- 
one years before is more apparent than real, since Handel 
was born under the old Style and Wesley tuider the new 
style, intrtrdnced in the year 175a— hence there is, in truth, a 
difierence in date of eleven days. 

The three surviving children were carefully educated by 

their parents; the father himself teaching them Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew, In the two former languages all three 
children are said to have been really proficient. 

From what has been already said it will be seen that the 
brothers Charles and Samuel, who both became eminent as 

eight years, Charles having been born in'becember, 1757, 
and Samuel in February, 1766. C^harles was really the more 
precocious of the two children. The history of their early 
days is contained in the Hon. Daines Barrington's " Literary 
and Philosophical Miscellanies," in which he includes copies 
of the notices of the extraordinary musical genius of the two 
boys, written at the lime by their father. From this I extract 
a few particiilars respecting Charles, as, without question, 
Samuel dtrivcd immense advant^e from hearing his brother 
practise and play, and from often being present while he 
received his lessons. 

The father says that Charles displayed his strong inclina- 
tion for music when only two and tluse-quarterB of a year 
old. He was then able to play a tune on the harpsichord. 

rsS Samuel Wesley: His Life, Times, nnd Influence on Music. 

and sliortly after was able to play several, Tlie child had 
been accustomed from his birth to hear his mother play on 
the harpsichord, to which she was very partid. When she 
attempted to amuse him by playing wltn one hand he would 
always insist upon her using both. Whatever tune he 
played, he, his father says, " always put a true bass to it." Mr. 
Broadiip, Organist of Bristol, heard him in petticoats, and 
foretold he would one day make a creat olaver. Whenever 
Charles was called to play to a stranger he would ask, in a 
word of his own, " is he a musicker ? " If answered " Yes," 
he played with the greatest readiness. He always played 
with spirit and without study or hesitation. He was at 
various times taken to many muinciit men. >is Dr. Worgan, 
Mr. Beard (the singer), and Mr. Stanley, who declared he 
had never met with one of his age with so strong a propen- 
sity to music, and that he never before believed what Handel 
used to tell of his love of music in his childhood. Charles 
had some lessons from a Mr, Rooke, of Bristol, who, however, 
o have left his pupil very much to his o' 
! with ti ■ ' ■ 

He made early acquaintance with the music of Handel and 
Corelli, of Purcell anil Scarlatti. He was ultimately fortunate 
enough to be introduced to Mr. J. Kelway; his judgment 
of the boy was decisive and expressed in more than words, 
for he invited Charles to come to him whenever he was in 
London, and promised to give him all the assistancejn his 
power. He began with teaching him Handel's Lessons, then 
his own and Scarlatti's Sonatas. The father concludes his 
account of Charles by saying ■' Mr. Kelway has made him a 
player, but he knows the difference between that and a 
musician, and can never think himself the latter till he is 
master of Thorough Bass [Harmony] . Several have offered 
to teach him, but as ! waited and deferred his instruction in 
the practical part till I could get the very best instructor for 
him, so I kept him back from the theory. The only man to 
teach him that and sacred music he believes to be Dr. Bp^ce." 

After the account of Charles, the father proceeds to give a 
notice of Samuel, who was not quite so precocious as his 
brother. He was nearly three before he played a tune, but 
his mother was able to produce a quarter -guinea, given by a 
gentleman as a memento of so extraordmary a feat performed 
by a child t-mo years and eleven months old ; this quarter- 
guinea was enclosed in a signed and dated scrap of^ paper. 
The street organs of the day are credited with being among 
the chief instructors of the child, who from them learnt "God 
save great George," Fischer's Minuet, and similar tunes. 
He was always present when his broths had a lesson or 
engaged in practice, and it was a high misdemeanour for 
Charles to h^in practice if Sam were not present, and he 
would resent the ofience by roaring as though he had been 

Samuel Wesley: Hh Lifo, Timis.and Injluence on Music, izg 

beaten. He always imitated his brother's action of fiogering 
or crossing his hands by mimic play on a chair. He -was at 
this early age (about four years old) able to distinguish the 
pieces pl^ed one kom the other. 

Before he was five he knew "Samson" and "TheMessiafa" 
by heart. From these he taught himself to read. 

Before he could write he had composed much music, which 
he kept stored in his memory. He used to place the words 
of an oratorio, " Ruth " or "Gideon," before him and sing or 
play. The fether declares the same music was always given 
to the same words. Charles spent his evenings at Handel's 
oratorios, and Sam was always at his elbow listening and 

To continue in the father's own words. He says : — 

Sam was fbU dfdit ytaa old when Dr. Soyce oune lo see ub and 
■ccoated ma with "Sir,! bear yon h«ve >n Engtlah Monit in ToarhouK i 
yotmeLinls^tBllamewaDderiidlhiiigiofbiin." 1 csllsd Sam to iniwur 
fbr hunBclf. Ha bad by this tima ■envied down bis Ontocio of " Rulb." 
The Dr. looked orei it very cursfntly, and seemed h^hly pleued with 
the peifbmnance. Some n histvofda were, " Theu air* are vime of the 

Wales ; served the Abbey on Sundaya, gave them several volunlarieB, 
and pUycd the Hist fiddle in many private Conceits. He retumed with 
uB to London greatly improved in hia playing. There I allowed him a 
month to Isom all Handel's Overturea; he playid tbem over id me in 
three daya. Handel's Concertos he learned wiili equal sub, and souib 
of All ItBEona and Scarlatti's. Litre Charles, he mastered the hardest 
music ivithout any pains or difficnlty." 
The rccnrd froEn ivbirh T hive quoted continues at more 
lEnpth Eh.iTi I r^m now .airord lo narrate his success when 
playing before many of the leading musicians of the day. Sir 
John Hawkins on hearing him exclaimed: "Inspiration! 
inspiration ] " Dr. Butney was greatly pleased with his 
extemporarv play. Many distinguished amateurs were 
highly delisted with him, and encouraged him to hold fast 

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130 Samuel Wesley: His Life, Times, and Influence on Music. 

to his veneration for Handei and tlie old music ; " but old 
or new," the father adds, "it was all one to Sain so it was 
but good." 

Whatever was piesented to him he played at sight, and 
made variations on any tune, and as often as he played it he 
made new variations. He imitated every author's style, 
whether Bach, Handel, Schobert, or Scarlatti. He played 
to Mr. Kelway, wham I aftervards asked what he thought 
of him ? He would not allow him to be comparable to 
Charles, yet he recommended him greatly, and told his 
mother it was " a gift from heaven to both her sons ; and as 
for Sam," he said, "I never saw so ii*gBf# a gentleman in all 
my life." Sam was everywhere admired as much for his 
manners as his play. 

If he loved anything more than music it was regularity. 
He took it to himself. Notliing could exceed his punc- 
tuality. No company, no persuasion, could keep him 
vp beyond his time. He never could be prevailed upon to 
hear any opera or concert by night. The moment the clock 
gave warning for eight, away ran Sam, in the midst of his 
most favourilu miiiit. Once he rose up after the first part 

answEied; bgt i »Dn't slay beyond dght." 

Tlie praises beslu.vcd so lavishly iijion him did not seem lo affect, 
much less to hurl him, and whenever he went into ihe company of his 

them'he waa'fti!c^"d easy, soShat some^rematked"" He hehaveslu ™e 
bred at Court, yet without a courtier's servility," 

The personal observations of Daines Barrington are worth 
repeating. He says : — 

^eat musical talents at the end of 1775, ivhen he was nearly ten years 
old. To speak ofhim first as a performer on the harpsichord, he was 

Harrington happened Co mention this readiness of the boy 
to Bremner, the printer of music in the Strand. He fold him 
lie bad some lessons which were supposed to be comp{>aed by 
Queen Elizabeth, but which none 01 the barpsicbord masters 
could execute, and that they would consequently " gravel " the 

Samuel Wesley: His Life, Times, and Influence on Music. 131 

!'oung performer, Barrington desired that Bremtier would 
Et him carry one of these compositions to the boy by way of 
trial, which he accordingly did, when the boy immediately 
placed it upon, his desk and was sitting down to play it ; 
Barrington stopped him by mentioning tlte difficulties he 
would soon encounter, and advised him to cast his eye over 
the music before he made the attempt. Having done this 
very rapidly (for lie was a devourer of a score) he said that 
Bremner wa? in the right, for that there were two or three 
passages that lie could not play at si^ht, as they were so 
queer and awkward, but he had no notion of not trying, and 
though he boggled at these parts of the lesson, he executed 
them clearly at the second practice. 

Barrington then asked him how he approved of the 
composition, to which he answered, " Not at all, though I 
may differ from a Queen ; attention has not been paid to 
established rules." He then pointed out the particular 
passages to which he objected ; these were mentioned to 
Bremner, who allowed that the boy was right, but that some 
of the j,Tcat composers had occasionally tiken the same 
libertiiiS. The next time Barrington saw Master Wesley he 
meiilioned 13rc:nintr's defence of what he had blamed ; on 
which yonng Weslc^y immediately answered, '■ When such 
excellent ruiea are broken, the composer should take great 
care these licences produce a good affect, whereas these 
passages have a very bad one." 

Lord Motninglon, who had £ode«p aknmv1ftd[;eormnGlc, haarrequently 
satiEfaqtoiy informalion. ThGi!,;li hL ^v,<, ;.l.^'a^ ivillmj; to' play Ihe 

by otheti. Hia invention in varying passages was inexhaustible, and 
fiurington conlinues; " 1 have myself heud him give more than Efiy 
vaiiatione oa a known {ileasing melody, all of which were not only 
diSereat Gtnu each oiher, but showed excellent tasie and judgment. 
In b^ SElcmponiy compositions he frequently haiarded bold and 
nncommoD modulilionB. and 1 have seen that most excellent mu>:ician, 
Mr. Chanles Wetley, bi« elder brother, tremble foe him. Bam, however, 
alwayg citiicsted Wm«elr from the difficulties in which he appeared to 
be Involved in tba most masterly manner, being alwa>;s passessed of 
that nereoe confidence which a thorough knowledge inspires." 

■• Here," contbioes Barrington, "I will givsa proof of the goodneas of 
hii heart and delicacy of hia feelings. I had desired him to compose an 
easy melody in the minor third for an experiment on litile l^rotch, and 
that he would go with mc to hear what that very extraordinary child was 
capable of. Crolch was not in good humour and Master Wesley sub. 

ong other things, to pla^ on a cracked violin in order to please 

B what m^t be' the 

Dlgilized by Google 

132 Samuel Wesley: His Life, Times, and Influence n» Music. 

_-_ acompoMtaMarehfiirthereBimenuof GaardB.wblch 

he did, to the apprabMion of «ll thai heard it. As I thought the boy 
wotdd Uke 10 hear Ihe Match perfaimed, I carried him 10 ths parade at 
the proper time, when it had the honour of beginning the Military 
Concert. The ^iece beingfinisbedl ashed himurhethei it was eucued 

immediaiely iniroduced him to the band, which coniisted of very tidJ 
and Etout musicians, thai he miehl set them right. On Ibis Sini lakl 10 
than, "You have not done^usliee to ng^compodtion" • tn^hii-h ih™ 

. npl, "your 
"Yei, H> comp<wiIon," 

id''been put into' their binds. This he in 

wlu£*I confinned. Then thsy itared, SBd'sevetiUynudethdremnues 
' by pnitesting tiny had copied accntately tnta tbe Duauscript which 

hautboys and bassoons, but said that it was the French honiB that »ere 
in fault: on their making the gxae defence, he in^sledon theoiiginal 
score heiiig produi^cil, ani, showing thEm their mistake, ordered the 
Match 10 be pl.iyetl again, which they submitted to with as much 
deference as ihej would have shown to Handel, 
About the year 1771 the Rev. C. Wesley removed with his 
family from Bristol to London, a wealthy ladji, Mrs. Gumley, 
having given to him the twenty years' unexpired lease of her 
furnished house in Chesterfield Street, Marylebone. This 
appears lo have been a large and well furnished house, with 
a ioiiii miisic-room, in which an organ was erected by the 
n-.iiiijlini-nct o: Mrs. Giimley. Here the young Wcsleys, 
dunnp; zviic; of years (eight or niao), gave subscription 
concerts, commencing in tiie year 1779. Those who care to 
set the picture in a little local colour may refer lo Dickens' 
'• Bamaby Rudge," which deals in the Gordon riots with the 
exact period at which we have now anived. 

Welbeck Street was then one of the boundaries of the town, 
and beyond were fields and Marylebone Gardens, and 
Marylebone itself was reached by the stiil remaining Maryle- 
bone Lane. 

It is by a fortunate chance that I am able to speak of 
these concerts given by the young musicians with some little 
detail, as two or three years ago a discerning member of the 
College of Organists observed on an old bookstall in London 
a manuscript record of certain concerts. This he purchased 
for a trifle, and, appreciating its interest and value, presented it 
to Mr. Erasmus Wesley, one of Samuel Wesley's sons, and for 
many years the esteemed treasurer of the College of Organists. 
Throi^h the kindness of this gentleman I am able to' quote 
from tnis interesting and valuable bode. The MS. is a 

Sammt Wesley: His Life, Times, and Influence on Music. 133 

record in the handwriting ot the Rev. Charles Wesley, of 
lii^ sons' concerts. Some particulars which I cuJi from it will, 
I think, be interesting. 

Each Brason appears to have included a series of seven 
concerts, given usually at fortnightly intervals beginning at 
about the end of January. The subscription was three 
guineas for the scries of seven concerts. The first series, 
1779, seems to have had twenty-four subscribers ; the second 
series, thirty-eight ; the tliird series, forty-eight. There is a 
list of all the suh^critiers from 1779 to ^73$. It inchidessuch 
names as the Bishop of London, the IJishop of Durham, the 
Earl of Darlmoutli, the Karl of Mornini|loii, the Eari of 
Exeter, Lord and Lady Fortescue, the Lord Mayor {Sir 
Watkin Lewis) and Lady Mayoress — in all, over the six 
seasons, 120 names. A record was kept of the attendance of 
the subscribers. The book contains the programmeB of the 
concerts given in 1783, 1783, and 178^. Each concert 
was dhriaed into two parts, at first termed acts, afterwards 
parts. I have transcribed tht mograinine of the fiaurth 
concert of the fifth series, given Thursday, Man^ 6, 1783. 
It is a &ir sample of the others ^— 

Charlee Wesley. 
Retgrn, 0 God 

Concerto .. Geminlini-Corelli. 

Organ Volnuluy Samuel Weiley. 

Tim, VioliD, Violoncello, uid 
Pentactaard, composed by 
Hugh Rdnaglo, HrTmnod 
hj Hugh and Aleiuidii 
Relnagle ud Samuel Werfey. 

The band on this occasion k 

OigBO andHupiIcbord ... 

Fim Piddle 

Elm Piddle 

Second Fiddler 

Organ Volantary... Chattel Wedey. 
Violin Solo ...Samuel Wedey. 
Song, " The Boldiei tiled " (Anie} 

Duet IbrlwoOrgana, "Dud March" 
OniliiTe, AUriuUa " 

C. ft S. Weiley, 
S. Wetlqr 

of the above details is somewhat interest- 
ing ; Batlishill, whose nri.nie in these records is spelt in every 
case but one with a single " 1," appears as a vocalist (a qualifi- 
cation he is not usually credited with in musical biography), 
singing the two songs, "Return, O God of hosts" and " Tha 
soldier tired." On a subsequent occasion he sang Purcell's 
" Mad Bess " and repeated Ame's song. I may, perhaps, here 

134 Samuel Wesley: His Life, Times, and Iiifliieiics o:i Music. 

e made by S. Wesley on Battiahill, I think 

cxtfimporaDeouB performaDU on ihu idAtrumeDt vras in all reipccLi 
attractiva and communluig. aib Hinging was nty eneapng, cnergfllLC, 

mi eoininindlDg, and It mt a higb neat to hsar htm tue pan in a 
Dnet of Handd's or a Cnuoaet of 'navers'*, or sing any one of PdiccII'b 
Songs Of Anthemi. 
Another feature in tlie programme recently read is the 
mention of the Pentachord. The only notice I find of this 
instrument is in the account of Abel, given in Sir George 
Grove's Dictionary, where it is recorded that at his visit to 
London, in 1759. he gave liis first concert on April gth at the 
great room in Dean Street, Soho, when, in addition to the 
viol-iia-ganiba, lie perfonned a concerto on the harpsic)iord 
and a piece composcii on purpose fur an iiislriinient newiy 
invented in London and called the Pentachord. In the 
absence of definite information I conjecture that the instru- 
ment may have been some modification of Seb. Bach's Viola 
Pomposa, which had five strings, the four lower stiings being 
tuned like a cello, while the fifth string was tuned 

This not only consists of five strings, 
the Pentatonic scale in inverted order- 

Yet another point worthy of remark is fhe duet for two 
organs ; a corresponding entry about two organs occurs in 
other places, and is evidently distinct from another irequent 
entry, " Duet for organ." 

The concerted music was performed by the band whose 
naniea 1 have already mentioned. Reinagle was the son of a 
Geiiiian musician resident in London. He was successively 
trumpeter, horn-player, violoncellist, violinist, and violon- 
ceilist again, and a veiy able performer. His son became 
organist of one of the Ojtford churches, and was a well known 
teacher there in comparatively recent days. 

Atwood (with one t) was, 1 conjecture, the father of the 

Samuel Wesley: His Life, Times, and Infiiienct on Music, jjj 

celebrated Thomas Attwood. The interest of the MS. record 
of these concerts is by no means exhausted, a3 tbey afford a 
l%ht upon the domestic doings of a hundred years ago. The 
accoant of the incidental expenses incurred in the provision 
of refreshments served, it may be supposed, between the 
parts, is interesting and amusing. Thus for the first concert 
of the season, 178a, we have the following record ; — 

I think from another entry elsewhere, Sally the sister had 
a new dress. No further expenditure on tea is mentioned 
until the fourth concert. 

The lamplighter, I suppose, had to light the way to or 
from the then distant Marylpbone, 

We could linger over this MS. much longer, but I will only 
add to my previous quotations the total result of the seventh 
season when 

34 Bubacrlbers contributed £105 

Which was expended thus : — 

£ s- a. 

Before it (i.i., the season) 6 13 6 

Theit suppera "'. '." ".370 

Rehearsals o g a 

The Company (Refreshments) 10 4 a 

£40 16 o 

This sum, by an error in the cast, stands as ^42 16s. 

£ i- 

Expenus of Cooceru 4i 16 o 

Family 11 g S 

IIoiisdieepInK 30 14 6 

ires o o 

One night in the course of the year 1787, Samuel Wedey, 
returning home from a visit to a friend, fell into a deep 

136 Samuel Wesley: His lA/e, Times, and Ittflnmcs on Music. 

excavation made for the foundation of a new building on 
Snow Hill. He was so much injured that, it is said, where he 
fell there he lay until discovered by workmen in the morning. 
He refused to submit to the operation of trepanning, with the 
result that during the remainder of his life he was subject lo 
very serious and prolonged attacks of mental depression and 
prostration ; so that more than once he had to withdraw 
from bis professional avocations for years together. 

In April, 1793, Wesley married and settled at Ridge, near 
Bamet. He had great affection for the pleasures of a rural 
life ; but in the course of a few years the necessities of an 
increasing family caused his return to a more immediate 
suburb of London, and he settled in Camden Town. 

A brief extract from a long letter to his brother may show 
something of his position in 1807. He says 

having beEn, lhank God, in b less agiiated st 

Wesley's attention appears to have 'been first directed to 
the music of John Sebastian Bach about the year 1800 or 
tSot, and while I think it would be wrong to claim that he 
absolutely first introduced it into this country, I think it 
must be acknowledfiredthatitnasdueto his persistent efforts 
that a love of Bach's music was generated. If the date 
which I have ventured to assign be correct, then it must be 
admitted that Kolimaii, who had already omployod th:: First 
Prelude and Fugue of the second book of the Forty-eight and 
the First Trio for the organ a-s e>.ainplcs in his Essay on Com- 
position (1799), had been beforehand in calling attention to 
Bach's works. 

Again, Dittenhofer, in the third of a series of miscellaneous 
works, chiefly from Eberlin, includes four examples from 
J. S. Bach— namely, the Fugue in C, the Fugue in C|, and the 
Prelude and Fugue in B minor, ali from the first part of the 
Forty-eight ; together with the final Fugue on three subjects 
appended to the Art of Fugue. The date of the first and 
second book of Diltenhofer'swork can be exactly determined 
as 1801 and i8os, and the probable date of the third part is 

Althouf^, then, it may be admitted some Imowlei^e of Bach 
'existed in England at the begiomng of this century, it was 

Sainutl Wtsity: His Life, Timet, and Infiumet on Unsit. 137 

very slight and intermittent, and failed to command any 
popular appreciation. 

With rogaril to the date at which the publication of 
Wealey and Horn's edition of the Forty-eight began. It was 
issued in four parts by subscription, and is unfortunately 
without date. We find la the well-known letters to Jacob, 
under date October 17, 180S : — 

Wa are (Id ttasSnt place) preparing an IDthentic and ■ccnnte life of 
Sabudan, which Mr. Stephennn ifie banker (■ mott Eealoni and 
icientilic member of ourfnilernity) bag tnutslaled into English bom the 
German of Farkel. wherein is a list of aU the works ofour Apollo. This 

It follows that some time must have elapsed between this 
letter near the end of 1808 and the issne of the first part of 
Ihc Forty-eight, and 1 think the stalemenl the puliHcation 
biiS^n in 1810 may be accepted as approximately correct. 

From another letter of the Jacobs' series have an inti- 
mation of the dale of the conclusion of the work. Under date 
May 10, 1813, he writes : — 

I have the pleuiue to iafonn you that I have amused a plm with 
Btcdiill wMch wUI enable ub to bring out the buitb nomber of Ibe 
Pteludee and Fugiwa by Iho first of July next. 

There are two pages of valuable and interesting matter 
given as an Introduction to Wesley and Horn's edition of 
the Forty-eight, from which I take leave to make some 
quotations, as I think they are not very well known : — ^ 

It wcins to b< with some stopendooB works of Ait, as irith thosa of 
DRluie j the lurpdae and idmirallon th^ excite render praise not only 
Buperlluoiu^ul also shew it inidequite^^the^bject prododng^th^. 

The 4S Preludes'and Fugues, the first ii of which are here presenled 
lo the masical world in a more correct manner than Ihey have ever 
yet appeared even in the country where Ihey were construcled, have 
always been regarded by the most scicnliRc, among scientilic, musicians 
(ihs^Getja^^s) asmalchleis^^raducti^^^^ 

explain the moil eligible method of studying and practi^ng these 
immortal EiercisM nit the advancement of all who sia desiroui 'of 
fciming a perfect and symmetiical iQrte of cotratetpoiDt and of duuibb) 
execmlon on the organ, piano-Iiatt or baipiichord, boib which purposes 

138 Samutl Wesley: His Life, Times, and ttifiiunce on Music. 

Ihqr will soon be found amply to answer. Towards a solid and per- 
manent improvement In muaicil compoBltioni weiccommendaslbeben 
method to set the [pllowitig Fugues in seote. 

The Preface goes on Tnth sundry hints on the right method 
of practice, concluding these hints by saying : — 

One nioiE enentlsl advice must be added, that whoever determines 
upon eiecating the following pages with precision must steadily resolve 
upon practising them at first in very slow time ; for since there is not 
a single note among Ibem (hat can be omitted without a material injury 
to their effect, it is absoltitely Indispensable thoroughly to understand 

each bar be studied viih that patient industry, which shall secure the 
true position of every finger upon its designed key. 

The Preface finally calls attention to the annotations 
explanatory of the several ingenious and surprising con- 
tiivances in the treatment of the subject throughout all the 
Fugues, and explains the now well known characters 

which, as far as I know, were invented for this edition. The 
analysis of the Fugues, as far as the indication of principal 
subjects is concerned, is very complete. 

In connection with the present subject I am enabled to 
give an account which \\'Ksley wrote at a subsequent period. 
He says : — 

Through the late George Frederick Pinto, one of the greatest musical 
of his days, I first became acquainted with the Preludes and Fugues or 

It ol Introducing to the English public, 

of them by 
nding the best 

livBisal approbation and have been found eminently serviceable 
'bo aspire to sxcellenee in the true organ style. 

- - - - ■--( of this mighty master for the 

harpsichord printed in 
There is a set ofSij 

set o/^olos for the violoncelb upon the 1 

in obbligat. 

Digilized by Google 

Samud lli.^ Life.Tim»s,and'Infiiiente oa Musie. 139 

The set li ttrrs ivnttcn liy \\ to Jacob between 

1808 and i('i3, tniciw a llotjii of nglii upon tlK enthusiastic 
zeal which Wesley devoted to making the man, y. S. Back, 
known and appreciated. He regarded it as Ms mission " to 
defend the cause of trnth and Sebastian, fur they are one, 
against all the- frivolous objections of ignorance and tiie 
transparent cavils of envy," " I safely regard you," he writes 
to Jacob, " BS one of my right hand men against all the 
prejudiced Handelians, It has been said that comparisons 
are odious, but without comparison there is no discrimination, 
and without discrimination how are we to attain correct judg- 
ment ? Let us always weigh fairly, as far as human powers 
will allow, and endeavour to divest ourselves of the propensity 
which leads us either to idolize or execrate whatever we have 
been unfortunately habituated so to do, without previous 
and due examination," 

In another letter, speaking of Mr. Horn, he says 

Before I had Ihe pleasure of hiB acquainliince he was longing 10 finil 

m^ical" world°"o "reason 'and ™mmon senserand 'so to" Mtort a 
confession of the true Elate of the case against Ihe prepossessions, 
prejudice, envy, and ignorance of all anll-H:ichisl^- 

Wesley appears to have issued proposals for the publication 
of the Credo ; he wanted seventy subscribers of a guinea 
each, about forty came forward ; but he wanted thirty more, 
so that the work might be printed without ioss ; he entirely 
disclaimed any desire for gain in this matter. He closes a 
letter to Jacob on this subject, writing: "1 need not add 
much as panegyric upon an^ grand production of the match- 
less Man. but I will only just observe that even you, who 
have been familiar with sundry of his compositions, will be 
surprised at some of the eigantic features of the admirable 
Credo in question." Wesley remarks further : 

Sebaatisii Bach is a subject on which so much tnty be Mid 
that whatever is advanced concerning hiE works cm hardlj ba 
deemed superfluous or □ninierestine. When 1 had tho hooouT of 
introducing Ihe Foriv-tight Preludes and Fugues lo the notice of the 

ch'tomatic combination of eilher'^mdody m h^imany. ^Murtuver^bv llic 
enercise of all these keja. it will ba found of whni great sdvaniiige ilie 
ptoper use of the thumb n in the execution of numberless passajiea 
whidl. Wltboilt il, upon the bladtkqiB would be iinpi.-iiblr:. No iuuucr 
did the supeiiorexeellence of thetflcompoeitiOEis nun ihcir uue icvel in 

140 Samuel Weslty: His Life, TitMS,and I«fiut»ee on Music. 

betook ihemselves to the Btady and prAciiceof them. Among tlieBe were 
Mr. Vincent Novella, Organist of the Portuguese Embassy, wld Mr. 

Benjamin Jacob, vtry many years Organist to the Rev. Rowland Hfll 

Wesley was much associated with Jacob in giving organ 
recitals at Surrej' Chapel, and I am indebted to my friend 
Mr. Edwards for some interesting particulars which he has 
printed concerning the organ on which Wesley used often to 
play* The organ appears to have contained on the Great, 
two open diapasons, stopt diapason; Principal, Twelfth, 
Fifteenth ; five ranks of mixtures and two trumpets. Its 
compass was G G to F. The Swell contained stopt and open 
diapason. Principal, three ranks of mixtures and trumpet, 
and was of tenor F compass. It had an octave and a half of 
pedals and one octave of pedal pipes. To the modem mind 
it does not seem an instrument of commanding resource, but 
one Hughsoa, in his "History of London," says; "The 
Suirey Chapel organ is partictJ.arly noticed for its sweetness 
of tone, as well as for its extensive powers, which are so great 
that in one of the hymns descriptive of thunder many of the 
audience have fainted ! " 

The organ jnst described was a good sample of the best 
English organ, and it was on such an instrnnient that Wesley 
won his great reputation ss an organist and as an extempore 
player in particular. 1 think it must be seen that on an 

— * 1£ of what we should now regard as of very limited 

, 1 jjgjj ^jjjj fancy were required to gain 

ind charm the ear and mind of the 
istrument of more varied tone and 
i attractions may often serve to 
disguise the lack of the cultured gift of improvisation. On 
the other hand, the requirements of performers like Wesley 
may be fairly credited with being among the causes which 
have advanced the art of organ building in this country in so 
remarkable a manner within the last seventy or eighty years. 

Before Wesley's death in 1837, all the great improvements 
in organ building were at least initiated, pedals were first 
added, the contents of the several organs brought more 
easily under finger control. Wesley said of the St. Paul's 
organ of his day : " The keys tire all as stubborn as Fox's 
Martyrs and beai almost as much buffeting." The addition 
of concusuon valves was one of the first atqis to a better and 
more equable wind distribution ; theinvenhon of composition 
pedals only the fbretunner of the now marvellous control 
which is obt^ned over every constituent part of the instru- 
ment, and if to Wesley we owe the knowledge of Bach, 

Samuel Weshy : His Lift, Times^and Infiutne* ou Music. 141 

his work taught the necessitjr of equal tetnperameat and 

correct compass. 

Glancing rapidly onwards we are, perhaps, surprised to 
find that S. Wesley ne vet held any prominent organ appoint- 
ment. Indeed, as far as I can discover, he never held any 
appointment as an organist until after 1824, when the church 
in Pratt Street, Camden Town, was builf, and he subse- 
quently litcame OFffanist of it. Once the incimihent of a 
district church in his nciglibourhood offered to ciisplacc a 
poor old blind lady who was the organist and appoint Wesley 
at a substantial salary to fill her place ; but Wesley 
indigntintly repudiated the proposal and told the reverend 
gentfeman that she was quite equal to the duties of kis church. 

Wesley was, in i8r3, after the death of William Russell, a 
candidate for the appointment of Organist of the Foundling 
Hospital ; a letter on the subject, addressed to Mr. Glenn, 
will be heard with interest; — 

NovembET, .813. 

r° Mr. Rodert Glenn. 
My deu Friend, — You long eie now aie infaimed of poor fiuaseU'i 
dliKitiuion. Otconrae I can now exert my intBrut withoDt anyjnst 

chu^ of Buppluitlne or 
DBVi truinu^, and hi 

iarkly and amtiimily, bat whom I think 10 b« la the !i 

r. TieBtnm' Cox, who Ipoke my 
I think 10 be la the Inlcnst of 
I offered my ■ervLces to do the duty at the 
Foundling next Sunday, which was declined, ii beinj; a^^.^ened lhat 
■ ' 'lohad been BolongRuMcll'sdcputyi i5 lo pcyformiton 


Clmch 01 

rrand I-odge, who £aid : •' 1 will certainly do wliat I can far you." 
Meaning; in regard to ihc electioii.] If he be lincere I may luve > 
ood chance, ai ali cvcnis. I shall not EKI, howevcT the manor g0E> ; I 
now by lane cipeiience that 1 can bear dtsappirintment with a much 

In 1824 Wesley was a candidate for the vacancy at St. 
George's, Hanover Square, consequent on Knyvett's retire- 

Fabniaiy 17, iSaf. 


Dear N,,— " Hie Qoiilp'a Report it seldom an honest woman of her 
word," and therefore 1 «ant to know from you whether she has lied 
in declaring that yon are to be an Umpire in ilie approachini; digital 
conleil among the Pialn-Une combaianti at St George's, Hanover 
Sqnara. I havi been talked into beconing one fool anon? many, 
and to appeal to learned hearen whether, at fifty years old, I can 
tsiolve i with equal cettainty as Me. Mather, Mr. J. Sale, and 
a BnnKmus host of more faihionable opponents Iban your old Friend. 
Yon will eaiily bdieve that my past experience ranifen nw tolerably 


14a SatHiul Wisliy: His Life, Times, and Injliunet on Music. 

I will add Wesley was not successful in his application 
^ther at the Foundling or at St. George's, Hanover Square. 

Although witliout any important appointment, Wesley was 
greatly in request as a performer. He practised largely as a 
teacher in ladie;^' schools and privately. Once a rich 
amateur, wlio ndtiiired his transcendent powers of ejctem- 
poraneous perform an co, said; " Mr. Wesley, I will give you 
anything you care to ask if you will teach me how to do 
that." " Sir," replied Wealey, " when I know how I do it I 
will gladly teach you for nouiing." From various remarks 
in his letters and elsewhere I [Question if Wesley found teach- 
ing a really congenial occupation. He would appear to have 
taken far more pleasure in his lecturing experiences, in which 
he was evidently successful, appearing frequently in this 
capacity at the Royal Institution, the London Institution, 
the Surrey Institution, at Bristol. Kennington, Camberwell, 
and elsewhere. Tlie earliest mention I have met with of his 
kctur^s was in !■!<.;,. H,: lijrturMl on such subjects as 

"The adva'ncemeni of nuisical knowledge," "Tile powers 
and energies of vocal and instrumental music." The plan of 
Wesley's lectures was often to take a quotation firom some 
more or less well known author, and then to give to that text 
a musical application ; thus the lecture on " Musical Pre- 
judice " was based upon a quotation from Locke " On the 
Human Understanding." His lectures were generally illus- 

coiifess, thtse illustrations had not much direct bearing on 
the suljjcct in hand. 

Every lecture was sure to include some weighty and 
pregnant sentence either of original or quoted matter. Thus 
at the end of a lecture on "Gradation between good, bad, and 
indifferent music "! 

WLsdom indispotably includM knowledge, bul knowledge does not 
necenatily comimliend wisdom. Knowledge is wisdom only in Iheorj', 
wiidom Ig knowledge reduced to fraciice. 

Another lecture closes with the following — 

The grealest friend of truth is time, hei greatest enemy piejudice, 
and her conii«ni coinpaniDD humility. 

In a lecture on " Comparisons are odious," he says : — 

The progresB of truth In *11 se" and in all climmlcB hu been slow, 
and wlioevet attempu a grait retOnnalioa of any on seldom lives long 
enoDgh on earth 10 wimeu or experience mnch of the tesull. and ecucety 
evsr the full and ultimate ancceee of his eiutiotu, however beneficiiy 
and patriotic. It has been truly, aa acalely ofaKived. that the dialia 
wbtch tnw geniua draws epon poateiity, although tbey nay not be 

Samuel Wtsl^ : His Life, Times, and Infiitaiet on Music. 143 

mple of Wesley's 
lie disapproved. From 

Gir apprnnted) an . 

_ Btvuuable. Hcniy Pomll'B 

Service in Effis vm-, very rarely petfbnned M St. Paul's, Wei 
Abbqr, ot at the Chapel Royal ; bat the bamileis chorda at Menn. 
and Kent are in conatiint requeal all orer England in the Cathe. 

In 1815 Wca!^, vhea on a journey to Norwich to conduct 
an oratorio, suffered a relapse to his old despondency, which 
he did not shake off untU 1823, From then until 1830 he 
was able, however, to lead a more active life, and wrote 
many of his excellent organ pieces ; but in the year last named 
he experienced another attack of his malady that laid him by 
again until 1837, when he once more regained to some extent 
his health and spirits, and in the autumn of that year he was 
able to meet Mendelssohn at Christ Church, Newgate Street, 
for a trial of the organ. Mendelssohn is said to have been 
enraptured with Wesley's power even in its decay, and 
Wesley, on his return home, dwelt in terms of highest eulogy 
on Mendelssohn and his wonderful mind. 

This visit to Christ Church appears to have been the last 
occauoD of Wesley showing his power in public. When he 
reached home he is said to have hung his biat on the last peg 
in the hall saying, as he did bo, " I shall never go out again 
alive." This premonition proved correct, and ho shortly 
afterwards (October, 1837) died of carbuncle in the neck. 

I feel my sketch of Samuel Wesley has been moat imperfect. 
There are many incidents of his life of which 1 iiavc said 
nothing, bat I hope I have said enouf;h lo show a man of 
strong genius and of hearty loyalty to his convictions. If 
there is one point more than another that strikes mc in his 
personal character, it was his fiiarless love of truth. 

I have spoken of Wesley at some length as to his gift of 
improvisation ; a gift which is sadly apt to fade from mind 
when its possessor ceases to exercise it. I have spoken of 
Wesley's enthusiastic devotion to Bach and of his efforts to 

1+4 Samuel Wesley: His Life. Times, and Influence on Music. 

make his works known. Wo, lo-Jay, arc; amply enjoying the 
fruit of Wesley's labour, and if he had done nothing else 
his life's work would have demanded out warmest acknow- 
ledgments ; but there exists music from the pen of S. Wesley 
which it is a discredit, not to say a disgrace, to the present 
generation to allow to pass into oblivion. His organ works are 
full of interest, fancy, and genius, and where Ihey have been 
skilfully a(lapt,r.l tn the inodtrn inslriuiicnt Iheyareslillcapable 
of alfording tlie highest pleasure. There arc pianoforte works 
of great interest, containing far more of the essentials of real 
music than dozens of pieces that obtain public attention; 
especialljr there is a Duet in F, origin aJ J v written for the organ, 
of exceptional beauty, and a 'Trio for three pianos, as otiginal 
in conception as in execution. This appeals to have been 
written without any knowledge of Bach's works in this direc- 
tion, but, if I am rightly informed, was suggested by Mozart's 
Sonata' for two pianos. It was at one time my hope to have 
had this work performed before you this evening. 

But if Wesley's instrumental works merit attention, still 
more should some effort be made to preserve in use some of 
his Kreat vocal works. 

The Latin Motets, among which I may specially mention 
" ![i eKitu, Israel," " Dixit Dominus," and Exultate Deo " ; 
bill above ali there is a great work, the " Confitebor," a 
setting of the iiith Psalm for voices and orchestra ; portions 
of this work were included at the Gloucester Festival in 1871 
with such marked Success that its continued neglect seems 
strange and jnenplicable, 

I am conscious of having quoted much in the course of this 
paper, but feel I cannot bring my notes to a better end than 
by reproducing a fragment from a contemporary notice 
written and printed within a few weeks of Wesley's death — 
The musical profesBion has lost ils brighlcat crnamem. Since the 

hieloiy of the art, be punued hii coune wiihoul ceTerence to Iha 
applMiM ol the iaj, natmg on ibe ceiulnty tbal the time mutt eons 
when hi* woiki would receive that Jnitice wbich the then (Ute of (he 
mt forbade. He cued nothing Ibr publlG opinion nmecting hit com- 
poBitkma. With bhn the art was all in ali, and iike Sebutian Bncb, 
tiandei, and MoebtI, he affotda aootbei iottaace that it i* tbe pteroea- 
tive of geniat to look forward with a cohn but aisursd mpactation that 
poMtrit; wlli award ihat ne*d of approral triiicb mnil e*er attend iu 
bright ud beantilbl cceukma. 

-Samuel Weslfj/i Hit Lift, Times, and It^ueuee on Music. 145 


The Chairman. — I am sure we are all very much obliged 
to Mr. Hiygs for the inteiestiug and instructive paper he has 
given us. It makes me feel that we are rather to blame for 
not knowing more of the works of this great English genius ; 
but many of his compositions are hard to get. Thirty-five 
yeais ago at Oxford we used to do several of his works in 
Magdalen College, and when Dr. Samue! Sebastian Wesley's 
son was at the University, he often heard his grandfather's 
motets sung in our chapel. As regards the introduction of 
Bach into England, it is curious to notice how slowly his 
works managed to get heard in different partsof the country. 
In 1859 ProfessorDonkin was resident In Oxford— an excellent 
violin player, and whom I have often heard play equally well 
on the pianoforte. He was the first to play a Bach organ 
fugue in Oxford. He must have been an undergraduate 
about 1840. The University Church there possesses the £rst 
set of pedals placed in Oxibrd. I was very much interested 
to hear that Dr. Crotch spoke of Bach b^ng the ^eatest 
man that ever lived. He said in his lectures that Handel 
was the greatest composer who had ever lived, and 
that no greater composer ever would or could live. Samuel 
Wesley was indeed very outspoken in what he said 
about the musical condition of our Cathedrals. It must, 
however, be accepted as a true bill. I remember coming 
across a book In St. Paul's in which a certain very short 
anthem was recommended as being specially suitable for a 
cold day I As regards King and Kent, I must confess that 
there is some excuse for their music having taken so much 
hold upon the Cathedrals. King's services are about the 
first specimens of melodious non- contrapuntal services. It can 
be imagined therefore that when the old tiresome and difficult 
music became so very wearisome the works of King and 
Kent, not belonging to the dry contrapuntal school, were 
cordially received. In the matter of organ playing, 1 
think Wesley's iiilUiciice was Rreat as Mr. Higgs 

has described. If ho had V.vpa] to scl: thi: full compass 
pedal-board in Engl.and he would l.avc given it his support. 
Unfortunately it was not introduced until about three years 
after his death. I believe Hill was one of the first bmlders 
to bring it forward. In any case, even if there were a few 
.specimens in England, I don't think Wesley had any 
opportunity of playing upon them. 

Mr. F. G. Edwakds. — I was one of the direct descendants 
of Beajamin Jacobs in the oi^anistship of Surrey Chapel. 
The organ was erected in 1793, and Jacobs was appointed 
organist in the following ysar. It was one of the earliest 

1+5 Samuel Wesley : His Life, Times, and IiifliiiKce on Music. 

origans in England thai had pedal pipes. I have often heard 
the old members of the congregation spealc of Ihe fine trumpet 
stop. It was certainly not until Mendelssohn came here, in 
1829, that some of the big pedal fugues of Bach became 
known. According to Gauntlett, lie was the first to play the 
D major, the G minor, the E major, the C minor, and the 
short E minor, which was a great favourite of his. Respecting 
Wesley's letterii, many of which are delightful reading, there 
are a large number in the British Museum. Here ate some 
lines written in an album by We.slsiy. " If Puncheons, or 
Pipes, of Flattery could either have fattened or unriched a 
Man, Sir John Falstaff had been a very Shrimp, and King 
Cnssus a mere Beggar, in Comparison of S. Wesley.— <4u^s( 
19, iSaS." 

Mr. CuMMtNGS. — It is interesting to note that Wesley's 
compositions came imder tlit: notice of the Pope. He was 
so attracted with their immense value that he wrote a very 
eiiloKiBtic letter to the cliicf Roman Catholic authority in 
LoDOon, in which he wished that something might be done 
for Wesley, and suggesting that he should Come into the 
bosom of the Church and go to Rome. 

The Chairiun. — There is one line movement bam a Maes, 
a portion of which George Cooper showed me. 

Mr. HiGSS.— There is a published and an unpublished 

Mr. CuMUiKGs. — A letter from one of the Pope's body- 
guard asks if it is possihie to get that Mass published here. 
He was very anxious that it should be printed. 

Mr. HiGGs. — It certainly ought to be prmted. There is a 
printed Mass in Noveilo's catalogue, but my impression is 
that it is an ordinary service. 

Mr. EuwABDS. — Concerning the orpan recitals which 
Wesley gave in conjunction witli Jacobs m Surrey Chapel, 
it is interesting to note that they lasted four hours. They 
were crowded with people, to the number of about 3,000. 
The two players took turn and turn about. One piece, an 
extempore piece, by Jacobs, was called " The Thunderstorm." 
The admission, I believe, was free. 

The Chairman,— Did Samuel Wesley Jive on the proceeds 
of his teaching ? 

Mr. HicGS. — I think he did a great deal in the way of 
conducting and givii^ organ performances in the country. 
He certainly had a large taichn^ connection. 

The Chairman. — The sumsof money read were certainly not 
very encouraging. 

Mr. HiGGS. — But that was in 1782. 

Mr. CuMtiiNGs. — In that concert programme which we 
heard read it was remarkable that Handel's "Return, O God 
of Hosts," and Anie's "The Soldier tired " should be rendered 

Samvel WesUy: His Life, Times, and Influence on Music. 147 

by Mr. BattishUl, considering that one requires the compass 
of a soprano voice and the other is rather low. 

Mr. HiGGS.— I should think that Batlisliill was about 
twenty -five years of age then, 

Mr. CuMUiNGS proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Higgs for 
his admirable and instructive paper. He said; We shall look 
for it with a great deal of pleasure in the; report. In listening 
to him it has struck me that if we coulil get someone to 
collect the materials for a complete edition of Wesley's 
works and to publish them we should get a very large 

Mr. Banister seconded the vote, which was carried 

In acknowledging the vote. Mr. H^gs said he would like 
to mentioii the help given him by Miss Wesley, who was 


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